* Posts by jedd

10 posts • joined 12 Nov 2007

OpenSolaris still has some Linux copying to do

Paris Hilton

What's wrong with this picture

Quoting :

" ... it contains a subset of the source code for the Solaris Operating System, but with an open source license."


"... [DTrace and ZFS] are likely to make it to Linux due to licensing and personality conflicts."

Interpreting this, I conclude that "It contains a a set of software - some is open source, some is not (and you're on your own trying to work out which is which, and how they can call the whole thing 'OpenSolaris' when the whole thing clearly isn't open)".

As another reader pointed out, this is reminiscent of Sun's wranglings over x86 versions a decade or so ago, or even their flip-flopping about WABI (anyone else old enough to remember this debacle?). This whole 'too little, too late' trend is a bit sad as I used to be a big advocate of Sun kit.

Open source zealots fill with venom

Thumb Up

YA comment

WRT the guest speaker - it's interesting to hear someone in Mike's position, but maybe in future your email invitations could add 'turn off Skype & gchat blips' to the list that presumably already includes 'turn your mobile off and lock the kids in the bathroom'.

WRT the claims about users of free software not contributing. And you think this is something that's only happened in the past 12 months? I read a spiel, probably around a decade ago, about the benefits of people who were 'merely' users of free software. Advocacy, for starters, but even just being passively observed to be using an alternative to the incumbent is good press for that alternative.

I tend to agree with this observation - it's hard to prove, yes absolutely, and there definitely are a number of grumpy people who don't appear to contribute materially, but for as long as they're the minority they can be happily ignored.

Quoting one of the guys (all you yanks sound the same to me, sorry ;)

"There's that mix of .. where people have that struggle with open-source versus free software ... I think what you were getting .. was people misinterpreting these comments about open-source always having to be free."

Maybe rms is right - the usage of the phrase 'open-source' really does confuse the [primary] issue. I couldn't understand the above comment at all, and if anything I'm even more convinced that the speaker doesn't understand what free software means (or is meant to mean, if you prefer).

Free software development .v. games. I've yet to work out how you could write a multiplayer game using free software *and* prevent ne'er-do-wells from subverting the environment. In the absence of a punkbuster-esque utility (which by definition needs to be non-free software) it doesn't seem possible to protect the game's community. An interesting algorithmic conundrum for someone, perhaps.

Entirely agree with AC above - the cost of entry to the games market now must be astonishing. When I were a lad .. I had a part time job helping the guy next door (a TRS-80 games programmer) make copies of his games on cassettes. His cost of entry was his TRS-80, an assembly language reference, and a high-speed tape-dubbing machine. Oh my - I need a lie down now.

But as usual, of course, I did enjoy the show .. mostly. :)

Canon Digital Ixus 80 IS compact camera


Full frame (wars)

Interesting article above, on '6mp is the optimum for compact cameras'.

I spent some time around the middle of last year looking at CC's and ended up getting the Ixus 70. From this review, and a quick comparison on Canon's site against this model, I really can't see any compelling reasons to spend the extra $A100 for the 80 over the 70.

As to full frame (35mm) sensors - there's pros and cons with this. I used to think the same way, but Four-thirds (wikipedia it) looks like a much better option to me now. I'm not invested with either Canon or Nikon high-end gear, so a new standard is a more attractive option than siding with either of those two company's lock-in approach anyway.

Fascinating article about four-thirds ("Full Frame Wars") over at : http://www.digitalsecrets.net/secrets/FullFrameWars.html - he writes especially coherently, doing an excellent history of 35mm and then some analysis of full frame sensors as well as looking at four-thirds.

Nvidia to acquire ray tracing startup


A serving of ray-tracing on the side

Aren't these two things contradictory:

"Nvidia was developing its own ray tracing technology on the side."


"Nvidia will soon announce its acquisition of a ray tracing startup"

Is this in the same manner that Microsoft develops technology on the side?

Open source software is murder


E .. stop taking them

Dude, wireshark didn't 'nick' ethereal code. They had to rename the project due to a copyright conflict against the old name. Bit like netsaint->nagios, and doubtless many other examples. About 15 seconds (wp: wireshark) would have resolved this confusion .. but it's fascinating that you, a seemingly regular user of the software, haven't noticed the transition in the two years since it happened.

Can you guess what bugs me?


Wireshark, HP(UX), cloud schmoud

The Wireshark (nee Ethereal) 'revelation' dragged me here (too), as the first two clangers weren't sufficient to get me motivated enough to write an ignorable comment about the show.

MS-Office 'not that expensive' and the whole office thing 'not important' -- this seems wrong, once you've scaled the numbers to match a reasonable-sized organisation. And the bit about needing only 5% of your documents being 'dubious' with a different office application being an imperative to stick with MS-Office, I guess that's down to perspective. From the same starting position you could argue that this is the primary motivator to shift away from a proprietary document format.

Segue to the brief mention of Sharepoint - my take on that shift was partly SAAS, partly to further limit the potential impact of the OpenOffice and GoogleApps of the world. Sharepoint's a one-way street as far as organisation document management goes - really, there's no coming back from that decision - and from what I've heard the document format for storage is the not-yet-ratified OOXML format. Unsettling stuff.

HP 'make loads of money from HPUX' .. this claim is simply surreal. PA-RISC is dead, HP-UX releases are consistently delayed (the most recent was 12 months late, IIRC), Intel's commitment for Itanium is ever doubtful, and just look at HP's annual reports on revenue breakdown to see how important this business is to the printer company (and by extension, to Intel). None of this is reassuring for existing users, and utterly not enticing for potential new customers.

As to clouds .. hmmm .. maybe we could have centralised large-scale servers with everyone attached via long bits of wire .. we could call those servers mainframes, and the client equipment could be some kind of dumb terminal.

Oh, and you need a flannel-slippers icon.

HP to ship SuSE on India PCs

Gates Horns

A. Almost everything

Q. Sucks what?

I'm a Debian bigot, verily, but SuSe really does blow the big one - I've discovered this after having been forced to use it in a Novell shop here (5 servers deployed so far, 60 to go).

It's horrible in all the ways that Redhat and Solaris and AIX were wantonly horrible - it's designed badly, with minimal care, and targetted at people who expect OS maintenance to be complex and difficult. I guess it makes good marketing sense - people with low expectations are easily separated from their money.

Installing applications typically requires a separate activity to actually start them, and then a lengthy read through of non-SuSe-specific README files in the (if they remembered to provide it) /usr/share/doc/packages directory ... where you attempt to translate the compilation instructions into a 'this is how you should configure it on SuSe' sequence. Monumental waste of everyone's time and money.

Inventor promises bottle-o-wind car in a year. Again


Efficient carbon

Efficiency is a complicated subject - not least because different people mean different things by the word. Claiming internal combustion engines have an average of 35% efficiency is odd, given a four-stroke engine can't theoretically be more than 25% efficient (one out of four strokes produce energy, the other three use it). Unless you're trying to include 2-stroke engines in there .. but the numbers aren't there, especially for transport, and their efficiency suffers elsewhere anyway.

But I'm more concerned about this zinger:

"In France, to be sure, you can use grid power which comes mostly from nuclear generators and thus is nearly carbon-free"

From whoa to go (commissioning through mining through transport through decommissioning) your average fission nuclear power plant is about 75% of fossil fuel consumption, and consequently 'carbon emitting', as a coal-fired power plant. The myth that 'nuclear is nearly carbon-free' isn't one we should be perpetuating.

Anyhoo, what I really like about this (and similar) approaches is that it makes it possible for us little people to set up our own energy supply line - using home-scale wind or solar systems we can manage ourselves, incidentally removing us from the 'consumer' approach to energy.

Americans clueless on NASA budgets



Tsk tsk, Lucy. <insert something here about better funding for education>

Oracle hunger fallout: Will Red Hat survive?


Just say no to SANs

> The really nice features of VMWare all require a SAN.

This isn't true. iSCSI will provide all the same functionality that you'd get from a SAN, at least as far as a VMware ESX cluster would care. Arguably faster than a SAN, too (depending how much you like trunking). And definitely plenty big time cheaper than a SAN.

The last is probably the most important -- setting up a separate GbE network using commodity switches, commodity NICs, commodity SAS/SATA drives in a commodity box running commodity software (GNU/Linux) to create your own phatdisk is becoming particularly compelling.

iSCSI gets me to about A$2K / TB - but the great thing is the non-linear premium of adding new servers (compare and contrast most port-based FC switch costing plans and exxy HBA's).

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