Summary: Windows XP, Vista 7, and OpenSUSE lose to Ubuntu
FOR A WINDOWS user, there is no decent place to turn. On the one hand there is Vista, which is detested even by some of the most avid fans of Windows; then there is Windows XP, which continues to have problems, the latest example being the following intriguing report:
Windows XP fails to play nice with heavy I/O operations occurring on volumes formatted with the NTFS file system, Microsoft informed. According to the Redmond company, the issue is related to the “Compress drive to save disk space” option. The software giant did not offer an explanation of the problems, but indicated that both Service Pack 3 and SP2 for Windows XP were affected. Post-XP releases of the Windows client, including
Windows Vista and Windows 7 are not impacted by the issue.
It’s funny that some people actually think that anyone is “pirating” Windows 7 betas. It’s clear that Microsoft is deliberately leaking them to build up buzz around the new operating system. Don’t believe me? Then why does Microsoft give away free authentication keys that will let any copy of Windows 7 work? If the company didn’t want those copies of Windows 7 out there, it wouldn’t do that. This tactic is fairly subtle: By making people work — but not too hard — to get copies of Windows 7, Microsoft is leading them to believe that they’re onto something special.
Where to turn then? When XP is old and deficient, Vista is considered a train wreck, and Vista 7 is still alpha-grade vapourware, one can upgrade to GNU/Linux. But as the following new review probably suggests, SUSE is no ideal escape route from Windows and Microsoft.
Ubuntu 9.04 Review – Desktop Emphasis on the Jaunty Jackalope
This is the Distro. The Distro that has finally won me over from the SUSE camp. The swaying points were the theme, stability and speed.
To put it in better words, this distro takes over from openSUSE as my primary distro. At least, until SUSE 11.2.
Summary: Reasons to keep Windows out of the hospital; botnets without solution within sight
FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW we have been keeping track of the effect of Conficker on (Windows in) hospitals. Here is a not-so-shocking new discovery that the number of affected hospitals cannot be disclosed.
The Conficker worm infected several hundred machines and critical medical equipment in an undisclosed number of U.S. hospitals recently, a security expert said on Thursday in a panel at the RSA security conference.
Some named hospitals have already been struck by Conficker. For example we have:
Ubuntu’s Jaunty Jackalope has bounded onto desktops, and reaction in the Linux blogosphere is mostly thumbs up. There are some who wish the Ubuntu distros didn’t come in such quick succession, however, arguing that there’s not enough time to stabilize them and get into serious application development. Still, if it’s all part of a hellbent for leather effort to compete with Microsoft, it may just be working.
The bottom line: Windows and OS X aren’t the only operating systems out there. Take the summer to check out a version of Linux or two; pop in a CD or set up a virtualized install of your favorite distribution (Ubuntu is a good place to start) and play with it. You’ll be surprised how great a system you can get for free. As an added bonus, it’s one very legitimate reason to use that shiny new BitTorrent program you…uh…just downloaded. You watch all your movies from iTunes and Hulu, right?
Linux distributions are available for several computer platforms, including most Macs and PC’s. Find the computer you like best and install Linux. It’s getting easier every day to find equipment from the OEM’s that is compatible with Linux. Don’t feel like doing the research or installing Linux yourself? You can find computers with Linux pre-installed from vendors such as System 76, Dell, and Hewlett Packard.
There’s a reason the some of the Internet’s biggest players, (like Google) base their infrastructure on Linux. Linux is known for rock solid stability. You won’t ever see the Blue Screen Of Death unless you install the BSOD Screensaver.
Earlier this week, IBM reported declines in many parts of its hardware business. But in spite of the broad hardware downturn, CFO Mark Loughridge said IBM convinced 62 CIOs to rip and replace Unix systems in the quarter, and that Linux MIPS were up more than 50%.
India has ordered 250,000 laptops from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization, while a human rights organization will supply 5,000 OLPC machines to Sierra Leone.
News of the laptop project in Sierra Leone comes as research teams in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe release findings that the Asus Eee PC netbook is a better choice for African nations than the XO laptop. Asus is better suited to individual owners and users in rural Africa who need low-power PCs, researchers found.
They ranked the Asus Eee first for the needs of Africa, followed by Intel’s Classmate, OLPC’s XO, the Inveno Computing Station and Ncomputing’s X300.
Bryan Berry has served as IT manager for US embassies in Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, and Kathmandu. He has been a linux user for six years, and has lived in Asia for the last seven years. He began work on the Open Learning Exchange Nepal project in 2006, and as of June 2007 gained the support of the Nepali government to begin a pilot program of the OLPC project. He is also co-editor of OLPCnews.com.
Generally, noncertified skills in Linux, Apache, and Sybase saw an increase of between 25 to 28 percent, while professionals with uncertified skills in the areas of PHP, SAP and Unix saw their pay increase by more than 14 percent.
This three-day, intensive introduction to Linux includes hands-on exercises covering these and other topics: Kernel modules, Userspace device drivers,The new PWM API, Real-time Linux, Interrupt handlers and more.
This advanced workshop is ideal for embedded developers who are responsible for their application’s firmware design and development. It presumes a familiarity with basic C programming concepts and some prior embedded system programming experience. Motivated students without previous embedded experience are also encouraged to attend.
Let us say that very soon, people are going to start trusting Btrfs. We know that Btrfs’ primary focus is server side hosting. It comes equipped with its own defragmentation tools that run both online and offline. So why would I need support for anything else? XFS has been out for many years and has gained the trust of storage administrators worldwide as a stable, excellent performing and extremely scalable file system solution. XFS offers both online and offline defragmentation. AdvFS supports online defragmentation and recently I have even heard proposals for an Ext4-fs online defragmentation implementation.
Yes, I commit most every day, but my commit statistics are very skewed: 95+% of what I do is merges, and just a couple of percent is actual “code” commits, and quite frankly, even those pitiful few ones tend to be about pretty trivial stuff like reverting somebody elses code that caused problems.
Storix, Inc., leaders in Linux and Unix backup and Adaptable System Recovery (ASR) solutions, today announced the release of System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin(R)) v 6.3 that now supports Solaris systems. In addition to Linux and AIX, SBAdmin v6.3 users now have backup and full system recovery capabilities on their Solaris systems as well. ASR enables backups to be easily adapted to fit newer or virtual systems when identical hardware is not available.
I was pleased to hear a while ago that K3b got two new developers assigned by the Mandriva project and that work at the KDE4 port is going well now. Although K3b was inactive for a pretty long time (the last stable release was 1.0.5 for KDE3 on May 27, 2008), it looks like development goes at a fast pace and the first alpha of the KDE4 port was put up a little earlier this month.
Partners like EADS, EDF, Nec, SAP, Red Flag and Mandriva are working together to build an ubiquitous grid computing system based on Linux. ISO can be download on the Mandriva mirrors, and RPMS for the Xtreem OS are available. Xtreem OS is based on Mandriva 2008.0, but it seems that a new version may be based on the Mandriva 2009.0
Yes, it’s Ubuntu release week and yes, we’ll be looking at Ubuntu for our feature article. Instead of a review of what everyone already knows, this week I thought we’d take a look at how the newly released Xubuntu 9.04 compares to Debian Lenny with an Xfce desktop. Xfce is a desktop environment built using the GTK+ graphical libraries, similar to GNOME. Unlike GNOME however, its focus is on being lightweight. Creator Olivier Fourdan writes: “Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for various *NIX systems. Designed for productivity, it loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources.” Xubuntu is based on Ubuntu, but instead of providing a GNOME desktop, they provide Xfce. They also include much of the functionality that its larger parent offers. Debian, on the other hand, is based on, well, itself and offers a multitude of desktop offerings, one of which is Xfce. How do the two compare?
Debian is certainly far from dead. The overall system feels much more stable than the Xubuntu 9.04 I installed, but the Xubuntu system provided more functionality for new users, like the ability to easily install proprietary drivers. Debian was also faster and more lightweight than Xubuntu and, as a result, ran much better on this older hardware. Compared to Debian, Xubuntu was slow and sluggish, even to the point of being frustrating. Debian, on the other hand, remained snappy and responsive. When it came to codecs, Debian played everything out of the box, while Xubuntu resorted to using their manager to install codecs as required. Debian is now superior to Xubuntu in this area. The one thing Debian didn’t have is the automated tool for installing proprietary drivers. Everything is there at the command level, just not in the user interface. Part of the reason Xubuntu takes longer to load and uses more RAM is that it includes extra utilities, like the proprietary driver manager. The other thing to keep in mind is that Xubuntu 9.04 comes with a much newer kernel and includes numerous booting speed improvements, while Debian does not.
And don’t just run it in Live CD mode either. Give it an install on your system. If I were in the market for an alternative to Windows, Linux Mint would definitely be at the top of my list. I still hear some people say “Linux still isn’t ready for the desktop” and stuff like that sometimes.
Well these people clearly haven’t used Linux Mint.
Some people suggested that it’s better to contribute to the upstream educational projects rather than Edubuntu directly. I think fixing upstream bugs and adding features is awesome, but having a pre-packaged solution for teachers is equally cool and just as important.
This release of Ubuntu is no huge advance over the previous version, but the previous version was no huge leap over the version before. With Ubuntu, there is a steady improvement in usability, compatibility and features, and this is a safe and stable release, if a little uninspiring, however, turning Compiz on spices things up a little.
Now, it’s time you wow the general public. Right? You have what could easily stand as the most significant and improved release of any Linux distribution available. It’s time to make the fat lady over at Microsoft sing. Before the official release of Windows 7 is out and over shadows you with glitz, glamour, and shiny shrink-wrapped packaging you must do something with yourself. Put on a beautiful prom dress and show the crowd you really deserve to be prom queen. If you don’t, this brilliant release will not see the wide-spread installation it should.
The one thing that amazed me was the speed, I am not talking just about the very much improved boot speed but about the speed the programs begun to start.
Firefox with 10 tabs reopened (after addons installation) in just a few seconds ! all tabs where open like I never closed it – I have never seen this before !
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #139 for the week April 19th – April 25th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 9.04 Released, Announcing Ubuntu 9.04 for ARM, Ubuntu Open Week Schedule, MOTU Council News, German LoCo team launches new portal, Ubuntu Live in Aalborg, Chicago Style Release Party, Rocked in Finger Lakes, Ubuntu-CL: FLiSoL, New Ubuntu US Teams Website, Limited edition Jaunty Jackalope T-shirts, Announcing Ubuntu Gaming Team, Spread Ubuntu to go live soon, Shuttleworth: Oracle’s Sun buy validates open source, Ubuntu Podcast #25: Dustin Kirkland Interview, Full Circle Magazine #24, and much, much more!
Such rapid growth has brought about great challenges in all of these areas, and provided plenty of opportunity for personal development. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the most talented and dedicated team of my career, a team which spans corporate, national and social boundaries. Together, we’ve broken new ground in realizing the potential of free software.
I just recently downloaded and installed Mepis again. I’ll have to say, it has really improved from previous installs I’ve tried. Before it was based on Ubuntu and had the blot inherited from such a blotted upstream distro.
Ubuntu has done some great things for the Linux Community, but they have fallen off the cart in my book, because they have copied M$ in trying to be all things to all people and because of that, have blotted their system to become almost unusable on smaller older boxes.
So I believe Mepis will rank higher than it has in the past for me. For now at least, it’s 2nd to my main OS Debian. And that says a lot when it can bump Distros like Open Suse.
MEPIS LLC has released SimplyMEPIS 8.0.06, an update to the community edition of MEPIS 8.0. The ISO files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.0.06-rel_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.0.06-rel_64.iso.
Windows XP can’t run on ARM, so the new netbooks will have Linux-based software, including, analysts and industry executives say, Google Inc (GOOG.O) Android, which has been used so far in smartphones.
The 50-employee company, located in the southern Chinese city in its name, is aiming to have final prototypes ready by June, with manufacturers likely to introduce models to the market 1 to 2 months after that, he said.
SERCOS International (SI) has announced it will provide an open source software driver library for the SERCOS lll real-time Ethernet communication system master implementation. SERCOS III thus will be the first high performance real-time protocol which makes driver software available as source code, without any license fees and without any usage limitations.
IconATG is making their most popular IT professional training courses available to the open source community under the IconATG Open Source Training Project. This offering uniquely fills a need for self-study and skills development within the community. The course material is licensed under a Creative Commons license, which will enable people to quickly gain cutting-edge expertise and to contribute new techniques and improvements back to the community as a whole.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of People’s Republic of China (SAFEA) announced it has signed an agreement to improve the quality and capabilities of China’s university administrators, teachers and future technologists by leveraging the power of open source technologies.
Partners Consulting Services, has announced they are all set to implement open source software infrastructure from Sun Microsystems (News – Alert) for a new platform that is expected to reduce development and infrastructure costs for their clients.
It’s often seemed obvious to me that clouds and Linux go hand in hand. Amazon’s EC2 started out running workloads under Linux in a modified open source Xen file format. So why couldn’t the operation of the whole cloud be based on open source code?
Although open-source software services are not yet in the mainstream, many federal agencies have been demanding them from their contractors – and for good reason. As early as 2006, the Defense Department went on record stating that incorporating such technology would improve interoperability and increase efficiency and productivity by creating standard policies for the internal redistribution of code.
The open-source software revolution is ready to go public.
The programs that were once relegated to the niche fringes of the computer programing community and have more recently spread prolifically through the hard drives that power private business are now primed to make the jump into the public sector — and some would even argue they already have.
Spin Analytical Inc., a University of New Hampshire spinout that for the past two years has been incubating in the office of its CEO, Brett Austin, expects to deliver its first “open-source” ultracentrifuges in the third quarter of this year, enabling engineers to accelerate the development of centrifuge technologies.
The Motion Picture Association of America and RealNetworks square off in a federal courtroom here Friday to determine the legitimacy of the Seattle-based tech company’s DVD copying software.
Hollywood is already reeling from open-source DVD decryption software that is free on the internet, and says it’s losing billions in sales because of BitTorrent tracking services like The Pirate Bay that allow users to locate decrypted movies and other online content for free.
The latest statistics were promoted by the IFPI and a copy of the claims were published on the CBC. In these statistics as selected by the copyright industry itself suggests that physical music sales – namely CDs and vinyl sales – fell by 15%. Meanwhile, digital music sales grew by 24%.
The Obama administration’s stance on copyright enforcement has already attracted an open letter in which a variety of public advocacy groups voiced concerns that there seemed to be a bias towards content owners in the initial round of appointments. Those worries are unlikely to go away any time soon, if this week’s events are any indication. The Motion Picture Association of America came to town, armed with lobbyists and figures that suggest it functions as a one-industry, nationwide job stimulus, and it heard exactly what it was looking for from Vice President Biden.
The Pirate Bay recently got a new range of IPs and to everyone’s surprise they are now linked to several movie and music industry lawyers involved in the TPB trial. According to the Pirate Bay’s Wikipedia entry the change was due to a hostile takeover, but most people know better.
In Germany, the file-hosting service Rapidshare has handed over the personal details of alleged copyright infringers to several major record labels. The information is used to pursue legal action against the Rapidshare users and at least one alleged uploader saw his house raided.
“…here are his BSA connections, here he is advancing Microsoft politically (including with his former colleague/employee Jack Abramoff), and here he is scooping up the money Microsoft paid SCO after it had sued Linux (vendors).”Regarding that latest Gates Sr. piece/placement from The Huffington Post, we’ve already received some feedback in the IRC channel. “He thinks Bill Gates Jr. is a good kid. I think he’s mad,” writes the Mad Hatter.
“More of the same, ‘we’re ordinary people‘ propaganda Microsoft is famous for. Bill Gates was giving parenting advice before he was married,” writes Twitter. “The Gates [family] have spent a life time of ruthless self interest. Nothing much has changed, including their self congratulations.”
“The laugh is that one of the five companies they used as a resource for “most improved companies” is Microsoft,” says a reader to us, who quotes from the topic paragraphs of the relevant section:
For eleven consecutive years, Microsoft has been on Fortune’s list of the top hundred companies to work for. As a long-term employee stated proudly, “If you want to impact the world with software, there is no better place to be.” Microsoft boasts smart people and a rich, challenging work environment. The software king is extraordinarily generous to its employees and to society, offering an exceptional health insurance plan (zero premiums, no deductibles), extraordinary employee perks, and world-class philanthropy (highlighted, of course, through the personal generosity of the Gates family). In 2007, the Harris Interactive poll ranked Microsoft number one in corporate reputation, with additional enviable marks for leadership and financial results.
It’s unusual for a highly successful company to take a critical look at itself, but that’s just what Microsoft did in 2003. Leaders recognized a perception problem: Microsoft had become a company that people loved to hate. Customer data pointed toward arrogance. Microsoft was seen as uncivil. …
“Now, I don’t need to tell you what bunk lies in every single one of these phrases, clauses, and dependent clauses,” says this reader of ours. He continues:
“I find the idea that “it’s unusual for a highly successful company to take a critical look at itself” highly risable: highly successful companies (and sports teams and individual performers) do that every day. I also find it particularly telling that Microsoft’s incivility is positioned as a “perception problem”. Needless to say, the conclusion of the section is nothing short of glowing, delighted that subordinate employees can finish a sentence without fear that some executive will cut their tongue out. But what about being civil in free market competition? What’s the cost of that bad behavior? It’s uncountably large, though Microsoft do get dinged for the odd billion here and there.” █
So what can be concluded with respect to Oracle’s plans for MySQL? They really deserve the benefit of the doubt, but people who are closest to the project (like Monty) should know better than all of us. Unfortunately, they are pessimistic.
No matter if MySQL forked, neglected by Oracle or who knows what, the project is likely to suffer from what Oracle did. Who benefits? Oracle of course, despite being the owner of MySQL.
The matter of fact is that MySQL gets disrupted, but Sun took the first hit at it by losing key staff. As John Dvorak put it:
The elephant in the room is MySQL. Exactly why Sun ever wanted to “own” an open source database manager is beyond me, and apparently beyond the open source community that only tolerated the situation because it had to.
So what’s going to happen to all this R&D? “So far, Oracle has been fairly quiet about their intentions regarding Sun’s open-source projects,” OpenSUSE Community Manager and former Linux Foundation evangelist Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier of Novell wrote eWEEK via e-mail.
I have faced with much trepidation the news of Oracle’s looming purchase of Sun. Oracle has never shown any interest in community development, particularly in the database area. They are the largest proprietary database vendor on the planet, and they probably have very simple plans for MySQL: kill it.
That’s why I read with relief this post by Monty (co-founder of the MySQL project) this week, wherein Monty plans (and encourages others, too) to put their full force behind a MySQL “fork” that will be centered outside of Oracle.
Monty is undoubtedly correct when he says “I don’t think that anyone can own an open source project; the projects are defined by the de-facto project leaders and the developers that are working on the project.” and that “[w]ith Oracle now owning MySQL, I think that the need for an independent true Open Source entity for MySQL is even bigger than ever before.”
Could the company’s core people rebuild MySQL AB under a different banner outside Oracle? The MySQL trademark was sold to Sun and now it’s Oracle’s, but brand recognition can be re-obtained. Most of the code is GPLv2-licensed, but unfortunately not all of it because of extensions. This just comes to show why that business model which a few people call “open core” (or whatever) is utterly pointless and dangerous.
Oracle is not foolish though. If former employees of MySQL (some of whom have considerable capital because of the sale to Sun) regroup as an independent company and steal the engineers from Oracle, then Oracle loses. So Oracle won’t allow this to happen. But how hard will Oracle try to improve MySQL? And why does it constantly avoid bringing up the subject (until very recently)? █
But here is the main point: by keeping Windows XP around Microsoft is begging for trouble. In the words of oiaohm, “Microsoft in windows 7 is now forced to virtualise XP. So all the viruses of XP will remain around.”
Yes, people will have two systems to keep up to date and hope that they can patch. How does that make Vista 7 any more secure than predecessors? It’s only an aggregation of vulnerabilities. █