* Posts by Eldnah

20 posts • joined 18 Jul 2009

No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

Eldnah

Debian (w/ apologies to the Beach Boys)

Ah, da da da da Debian

Da da da da Debian

-----

Oh Debian, take my hand

Debian

You got me surfin' and a-Snortin'

Surfin' and a-portin'

Debian da da

da Debian

-----

Package expanse, stable elegance

Thats Debian, so I thought I'd take a chance

With Debian, Debian

Take my hand

You got me surfin' and a-Snortin'

(Oh! Oh!)

Surfin' and a-portin'

Debian da da

da da da da stays free

-----

Da da da da Debian

Da da da da Debian

-----

Debian, take my hand

Debian

You got me surfin' and a-Snortin'

Surfin' and a-portin'

Debian da da

da Debian

-----

Tried Suse Sue

Tried Fedora too

Tried ev'ry *buntu

But I knew they wouldn't do

Debian, Debian

Take my hand

Debian

Debian

You got me surfin' and a-Snortin'

Surfin' and a-portin'

Debian da da

da Debian

-----

Da da da da Debian

Da da da da Debian

Debian

Take my hand

Debian

You got me surfin' and a-Snortin'

Surfin' and a-portin'

Debian da da

da Debian

-----

ermm ... mine's the wetsuit with the surfboard

4
3

ARM creators Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber

Eldnah

s/pus/put/ on page 3

Great article. Wow ... running on leakage.

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Microsoft vs Google patent ding dong gets stuck on repeat

Eldnah

Author FAIL

"Arguably, Google is on the ropes at the moment, given Smith's comment about inviting the Chocolate Factory to join hands with MS and bid jointly for the patents."

This sentence shows the author did not understand Google's argument (or chose to ignore it). Granted, Twitter limits may have hampered Google's ability to lay it out, so here's a quote from PJ at Groklaw:

"The attacks are already happening, and if Google had agreed to a cross-license with the Microsoft/Apple/Oracle/et al group, then any of them could sue Google over *other* [non-Nortel] patents, and Google would not have been able to counterclaim with any of the Nortel patents to defend itself."

That's because members of a patent-purchase consortium usually make a binding agreement not to use the purchased patents against each other. There, isn't that better?

Disclaimer: I don't work for anyone involved (but I used to be a contractor for M$ back in the day). Now I'm just a satisfied Google user who's run free-as-in-freedom software for the last decade.

Hmm. Where's the Devil-disguised-as-Ballmer option?

8
1

Virgin space rocketship trials 'feather' re-entry system

Eldnah

So is the VMS ship nicknamed "Mary"?

It is, after all, the Virgin Mother Ship.

Mine's the one with the rosary in the pocket.

2
0

Ubuntu 'Natty Narwhal' breaks the surface

Eldnah
FAIL

The great thing about FOSS is choice ...

... and once the semester is over (< 1 week), it'll be time to exercise it. Debian? Fedora? Slack? Maybe even Gentoo, the distro that lured me over from FreeBSD in the first place. Or maybe back to OpenSUSE, which I ditched when Novell had its fling with M$ ... but only if OpenSUSE is sufficiently detached from Novell and Novell's new overlord (can anyone comment?).

0
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Google Places puts QR Codes on the shelf

Eldnah
Black Helicopters

More expensive = more margin = ...

= more profit for firms investing in the technology. Wonder how much Google has invested in NFC (the tech as well as in other firms).

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Nokia: Keep codin' for Symbian and Qt!

Eldnah
Go

Microkia ...

"Microkia" -- perfect! Small, and croaking.

0
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Microsoft: Mystery bug blocks Syrian secure Hotmail

Eldnah
Gates Horns

... but they've fixed it.

Sounds like they don't want to admit that something somewhere got hacked.

0
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Windows 0day could allow complete hijacking

Eldnah
Happy

apt-get

> Until I can just go 'install + use' I'll remain here on XP.

Dear Mr. (aptly-named) Phud:

sudo apt-get install <whatever>.

Usability? Try ripping a music CD (that you legitimately posses) using any of commonly available rippers for M$ Windows -- not to be confused with X Windows, the foundation of the Linux GUI and having many environments with usability enhancements such as multiple virtual desktops (try install + use on XP for that). But I digress. Now try ripping using K3B on a Linux system. You can thank me once you get over how easy and intuitive it is.

Tired of waiting several minutes for M$ Office to load a small document? Or trying to find, then install + use a utility that will convert old-old Office files? Then do like I suggested to a colleague and apt-get Open Office (or Libre Office). He's never looked back.

And in case you're worried about the cost: it's all free. As in beer, and in speech. No need to spend money on software that tries to lock you in to a failing monopoly.

You're welcome. Literally.

But you can go back to your spot under the bridge if that's really what you'd prefer. In full disclosure I should point out that Linux doesn't need to pay people to spread FUD the way M$ does; you might lose some income.

1
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Google in Android 'Honeycomb' fondleslab demo fest

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Ubuntu fights iPad fever with netbook shot

Eldnah
Black Helicopters

URL for the bug report?

I am planning on using vbox under Lucid.

If there is indeed a problem, please provide a URL to the bug report (I assume one exists, or that you plan on filing it). I have seen too many astroturfing anti-Linux FUD items on internet forums to believe reports like this without confirmation.

And if the problem is real, is it *buntu or VirtualBox? After all, one component of vbox is a kernel module. A bug there might well be able to squirm its way around OS-level limits in place for most applications. And if the problem is Oracle's, why not use one of the other virtualization solutions out there? KVM, after all, is now part of the kernel.

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Linux gets jiggy with more filesystems in 2.6.34 kernel release

Eldnah
Boffin

LogFS has some fscking capabilities in the right context

As someone who looked a bit into log-structured filesystems way back when as a grad student, they have some great capabilities in the right context.

Your standard file systems assume a use pattern where reads predominate over writes. They attempt to update files more-or-less in place, perhaps moving them through a journal first. This is done to try to keep files that are somehow "related" (typically, "in the same directory") in some sense "near" each other on disk, hoping to minimize seek time during later access. This involves a fair amount of fiddling with the on-disk file data, meta-data, and file system structures. It makes sense to do all this on rotating magnetic disks where seek time is major performance constraint, and one that is stubbornly resistant to Moore's Law.

Enter flash storage devices. No rotating media, no seek time constraint. But enter also a new constraint: lifetime limits on the number of erase cycles. The on-disk fiddling of standard file systems hits flash here. Combine this with flash's other constraint: the need for erases to take place in huge chunks that might have pieces (or all) of other, unchanged files. If you try to use a file system meant for spinning platters, you wind up with flash performing poorly over a shorter lifetime.

Log-structured file systems avoid this problem by *not* trying to update in place. Write new or updated data in the next empty, available portion of permanent storage. Write new metadata pointing to this updated location ... and write that new metadata in the next empty, available portion of permanent storage. Recurse up the meta*-data chain as necessary until, at the last step, the meta* data is written in a known pre-ordained location (or one of a handful of such locations). Yes, such location can become an erase hot-spot and limit the device lifetime, which is why you might want to have a reserved pool you cycle through. And yes, you need some kind of garbage collection to reclaim areas full of nothing but obsolete data. Ain't nothing perfect. Of course, you play nifty tricks with caching stuff in memory as well, to batch up the writes to the devices and satisfy reads on recently-active files ... but this is standard for any file system.

OK, so this has the nice effect of leveling out erase cycles across a flash device. But it has a fsck-tastic effect on _spinning_ media when doing heavy writes of new data, such as keeping os and application logs or writing large backup jobs. The file system just writes the data into the location under the disk head. No seeking, except for when you need to jump to the next track. In this use case, log-structured file systems (on a dedicated disk!!) are *wicked* fast.

There are also some possibilities that log-structured-ness opens up. Since the filesystem is a log, the whole file system history persists on the media, at least until garbage collection knocks holes in the history (and of course you could set a preserve bit to prevent even that on critical files). Can you say "undo file delete"? I knew you could! After all, it's just a special case of file system level versioning / checkpointing / branching.

Caveat (PHBs take note): this is a high-level description. The devil is in the details. You are hereby not, repeat not, an expert on log-structured file system (neither, for that matter, am I).

The paper at http://lazybastard.org/~joern/logfs1.pdf has more detail and is clearer than this post. And it's short.

No, I'm not affiliated with the LogFS project. I just think they're onto a good thing.

So, AC, now do you understand why YAFS isn't such a bad thing? Or do you wish to maintain that FAT and NTFS, or for that matter EXT4, are all the world really needs?

Mine's the one with the bits of bark and wood chips in the pocket, thanks.

0
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Microsoft roasted for Office 2010 standards FAIL

Eldnah
Gates Horns

ODF supporters are not just FOSS folk

>> ODF, which humanity - well, the open-source industry and its supporters - had lined up behind.

Um, not just the open-source industry and supporters. Try national governments able to think for themselves and concerned with accessibility of archives far into the future. Ever try opening a 10 or 15 year old MS Word document with today's version? Good luck and have fun! Now imagine needing to open that Word document some century or two from now. You get the picture.

[Tip: take that old Word file and open it in OpenOffice. You're welcome.]

2
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Dell bars Win 7 refunds from Linux lovers

Eldnah
FAIL

No more recommending Dell until this is reversed

I was planning on assisting a friend in purchasing a Dell laptop online tomorrow. Not any more. Maybe they just saved themselves from having to give a refund for a bloated, overpriced malware magnet. But they've lost a sale of a laptop tomorrow, and many recommendations (and personal purchases) I might have made in the future.

Dell FAIL.

4
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Shuttleworth heir opens up on Ubuntu biz

Eldnah
Thumb Up

Not to mention, Ubuntu has mono.

Agreed ... and Ubuntu's willingness to happily install Mono-based applications ignores another opening move in Micro$oft's classic "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" strategy. I've been looking for a good alternative desktop-oriented distro for a while but still haven't found one that: is easy for non-techy end user clients; is powerful enough for techies; has a decent server version; has a large, active, friendly community and a large installed base; is preferably debian based; and affiliated vendors are not in bed with M$.

Still looking and happy to jump ship if found. Might just have to go straight debian, or give up on debs and go rpm (ugh) with Mandriva if Ubuntu doesn't wake up and clean out the rot.

0
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Software fraudster 'fooled CIA' into terror alert

Eldnah
FAIL

What's the real threat: Al-Queda, PHBs, or neocons?

>> Frances Townsend, a homeland security adviser to Bush, said she did not regret having relied on Montgomery's mysterious intelligence. "It didn't seem beyond the realm of possibility. We were relying on technical people to tell us whether or not it was feasible," she said.

Right. Technical people such as this one, perhaps?

>> ... one counter-intelligence official briefed on the programme said: "We were fucking livid. I was told to shut up. I was saying, 'This is crazy. This is embarrassing.'"

Seems like the PHBs and neocons teamed up to spend tax dollars on twisted dreams and silence the sane. Yet again.

How could the US public vote such clowns into government??? Oh, wait, sorry ... they didn't.

4
1

BOFH: Baitin' switch

Eldnah
Go

Let's hope poor Graham survives ...

... after all, the lad caught on pretty quick. And he knows his stuff. Now, if he's sent back to the temp agency with a "Well Done!", when he's out of traction he might be hired into other departments --- said departments none the wiser that a spy is in their midst. As a temp he'll doubtless see the insides of IT departments at other firms ... the tentacles of the BOFH reaching far and deep.

0
0

El Reg to launch space paper plane

Eldnah
Black Helicopters

Yes, we need an icon!

@Geoff Bin In --- Yes, well spotted. Given the significance of this project to Blighty and ElReg (including faithful commentards), and the likelihood of this lark^H^H^H^Hvulture turning into a Genuine Aeronautically Significant Program (GASP), we need an icon!

Black Helicopter 'cuz it's as close as can be gotten presently.

0
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Eldnah
Boffin

+1, looking to model rocket community

-1 using balsa (or any kind) of not-made-into-paper wood for airframe. It should be just paper and binder/glue/finish material.

+1 the idea of checking out tech and techniques from model rocketry. I recall from long-ago youth an article in a model rocket newspaper describing how to make your own body tubes from paper and glue. IIRC, laminated paper strips wound in different directions around a form. Those were the days, young lad.

For internal structural strengthening, could use thin cardboard (like that in disposable coffee cup insulators), laminated several layers thick, then cut to shape.

Also look at SPAD model airplane construction (Simple Plastic Airplane Design, gooyabinghoogle for it). It uses corrugated plastic for wings ... so use the designs but with cardboard finished with some stiffening/weatherproofing finish. These are powered designs but there might be a glider model or two in there.

Why put all the electronics in the plane? It could relay via heavier equipment in the ballon for at least a while, and/or to a powered craft (manned, moderatrixed, ROV, or autonomous) in the vicinity.

Why transmit GPS? How about emitting a copy of the Sputnik signal, and using tracking and telemetry volunteers? You'd get crowd-sourced data that you could statistically crunch in the ... er ... cloud to compute likely positions. Of course you could put a GPS receiver in the plane and store its info locally, to be compared with the c{lou,row}d data later.

What fun!

0
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Amazon vanishes 1984 from citizen Kindles

Eldnah
FAIL

Just wrong

TRT2D would have been for Amazon to publicly acknowledge they hadn't vetted the seller properly, stop selling the ebook, and compensate the *copyright owner* for the unauthorized titles that Amazon had fenced --- then pursue legal remedies against the provider of the ebook.

Vandalizing customers' electronic homes by removing something the customer had acquired in good faith is just wrong. Huge black mark against Amazon. I've been toying with the thought of getting a Kindle of some flavour. No longer. Add this to the one-click patent nonsense and Amazon's out of my picture for good.

Thanks for helping me make my decision, Amazon!

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