* Posts by wheelybird

70 posts • joined 9 Nov 2010

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What is dead may never die – how to get a post-BlackBerry BlackBerry

wheelybird

The Priv keyboard is very fiddly compared to the Passport. Other than that it's quite a decent phone.

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Prisoners built two PCs from parts, hid them in ceiling, connected to the state's network and did cybershenanigans

wheelybird

Re: 2 PC's what?

At school I was taught to use an apostrophe to pluralise initialisms. I suppose it came from the now near outmoded practise of using an apostrophe to abbreviate words (although some examples are in common use, e.g. "it's" as in "it's hot today").

I'm not saying it's correct, it's just that that's what we were taught to do back then, so I have a lot of tolerance for that type of apostrophe usage.

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Canonical preps security lifeboat, yells: Ubuntu 12.04 hold-outs, get in

wheelybird

On the plus side

Ubuntu does make the process of upgrading your distribution one of the least traumatic around (that is, for distributions with distinct releases).

Of course, this will all be moot in the glorious future of minimal OSes running nowt but a container engine. :D

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Huawei's just changed the way you'll use Android

wheelybird

webOS webOS webOS

webOS.

webOS had a hardware sensor for gestures and made using the phone so intuitive it was almost insulting. I haven't found another mobile OS that comes anywhere near it yet. SailfishOS is the closest, but not quite there. BBOS10 is a vague nod towards gestures, but there are too many discontinuities. Android's a joke - I find a lot of the time hitting 'back' doesn't do at all what you'd think it would.

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AWS's Kubernetes dilemma: It's a burden and a pleasure

wheelybird

No, I understood fully well. You're saying that developers shouldn't know/care which orchestrator they're using. The article says that AWS should use Kubernetes because that's what devs want. I agree with you - devs shouldn't be mucking with stuff like Kubernetes. If they honestly have no 'devops' resources and really, really need an orchestrator then Swarm is a good choice because it's part of Docker and re-uses the same API that they're using anyway.

So my point is that the article is wrong - it's not devs clamouring for Kubernetes on AWS.

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wheelybird

Kubernetes has its specific uses, but it's by no means a developer-friendly container orchestrator. It's really intended for legacy style application architecture where services need tight integration.

It's more suited to migrating existing stacks into containers rather than a system to allow developers to develop their new whizzy containers easily.

Have you looked at the heavy, complicated architecture for Kubernetes? I'm sure most devs wouldn't want to roll that out in a hurry. Sure, things like Rancher allow you to spin it up more easily, but "easily" is still relative.

Compare that to Docker which has it's own built-in, easily clustered orchestration (Swarm). Sure, perhaps not as feature-rich as Kubernetes or yet as scalable, but again that's something only very large outfits are interested in at that point it'll be the systems team that implements it, not the developers.

So I wouldn't call Kubernetes the common standard - not by a long shot.

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Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

wheelybird

What the hell.

I've just sent them a chunk of money; I think that it'd be a neat little device to own. Maybe it'll never appear, but I've been dying for a mobile device with a decent keyboard for bloody ages now.

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God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons

wheelybird

Re: Sigh

Yeah. They should definitely remove the right for people to have an opinion, consult their MPs and vote too.

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wheelybird

Nah. Trump has a business in Saudi Arabia. It won't do to hinder his employees there.

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wheelybird

Re: People

A stance against racism, bigotry and misogyny is left-wing these days? I thought it was pretty mainstream.

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wheelybird

Re: Where were all these virtue signallers...

The media don't report on the other people so readily. Most people weren't aware of their state visits. So it's hardly fair to assume people are being hypocritical.

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wheelybird

People

We keep being told by May that we're doing the Brexits because it's the will of the people (despite being roughly half-and-half). Yet the people show their will by having over a million people express their opinion on something, and May's already dismissing them.

Is there some kind of guide as to when the peoples' will is to be respected? Is it some kind of lunar cycle thing?

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Continuous Lifecycle London: Save over 25% with early bird tickets

wheelybird

The website doesn't mention the caviar and hookers.

There must be some to justify that price, right? It's just that I can't find the page with those details.

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Stallman's Free Software Foundation says we need a free phone OS

wheelybird

Like the Jolla phone?

Though of course, good luck finding one to buy these days.

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Icelandic Pirate Party sails away from attempt to form government

wheelybird

Re: Two birds. One stone.

To be fair, Iceland agreed years and years ago that Iceland (food) could be called Iceland for the purpose of selling food. But Iceland (food) is branching out and its other ventures are keeping the branding. So Iceland (country) are a bit miffed about this and asked Iceland (food) to stop. They think that people could confuse the new ventures as being endorsed by Iceland (country) which is fair enough.

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Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

wheelybird

Ah well

I don't use my pebble for much in the way of internet connected thingies anyway, and as I use SailfishOS I don't need to worry about the app disappearing - there's a native app.

However, there's always: https://blog.jolla.com/watch/

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Think GitHub and Git but for data – and you've got FlockerHub and fli

wheelybird

Is this an advert?

It reads like one.

I get portable data volumes. However whatever happened the concept of stateless containers? Wasn't that the dream?

No, don't tell me. You've got a database in a container and you want it to fail-over. My suggestion is to stop looking at containers as a solution to everything.

I think flockerhub is solving a problem that, if people architected properly, oughtn't exist in the first place.

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Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

wheelybird

Arch is not bad

The package system is quite good, and there's community stuff similar to FreeBSD ports or Gentoo portage.

I've used it on ARM devices (cubox-i etc.) and uses systemd. I'm not sure if that's mandatory, but if it is then I feel sorry for anyone using Arch to learn Linux and then having to use systemd.

To avoid that horror, flee to Slackware!

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DevOps: The spotty faced yoof waiting to blossom

wheelybird

The article explains what DevOps ought to be

but the reality is that DevOps has been confused with CI/CD by almost all agencies/employers now.

I'm currently looking for a contract - my expertise is Linux infrastructure/operations. Those contracts don't exist any more. Go to a job site of your choice now and search using the keyword 'Linux'. A year or more ago that would have given you mixed results; Linux support, Linux Admin, Operations, Engineers etc.

These days over 90% of the results are 'DevOps Engineer'.

Look at the spec for a DevOps engineer and it'll vary, but it's typically Puppet/Chef/Ansible, Python/Ruby, AWS, Jenkins/Travis etc. The role is generally "Manage the CI/CD toolset, package up the software for deployment, write the deployment scripts, do the deployments."

So DevOps is actually "that bit where dev and ops overlap which no-one else wants to do."

The issue with this is that it doesn't solve the problems that the real DevOps aims to solve. Instead of separate dev and ops silos, you now have dev, ops and devops silos.

The "DevOps" roles also put a lot of emphasis on the candidate being able code (and that's code, not script), so evidently this favours developers that, for reasons either good or bad, have moved from their development career into DevOps. They'll tend not to have (and the employers aren't looking for) deep or broad experience in ops, and therefore won't be aware of the niceties of how to properly apply the stuff they're doing in dev environments to production.

Oh, and for extra hoots, in the past week I've also come across adverts for TechOps, WebOps and NetOps. The future's looking bright!

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The B-side of storage containerisation

wheelybird

Hardware access

There's no reason that a container can't have direct hardware access. I think you're mistaking containerisation for virtualisation. It's misleading to call containers a form of virtualisation - they're not running on emulated hardware but rather directly on the host hardware, which is why they can access it.

It's actually best described as a way of bundling software and it's dependencies and running them so that they're isolated from other containers; more like a super-fancy chroot.

And of course you wouldn't put your actual data within a container anyway - there's stuff you can do with data volume containers, but the real question is, what's the point? There's no real benefit to it.

I think the point you made about putting GUI components etc. into containers is the only sensible use of containers when it comes to storage, but just because you've put something in a container it doesn't mean you're committed to updating the container every few days? What makes you think that this is forced on containers any more than it's forced on 'traditional' applications?

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Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry

wheelybird

Monitoring

So you're suggesting that host servers are monitored? Good idea - I don't think sysadmins ever considered monitoring servers before. That might be a new market!

Docker containers can leave a load of cruft behind; stopped containers that haven't been removed, volumes from removed containers that weren't removed along with the containers and of course container images that aren't being used by any running containers any more.

I think it's worth suggesting that, in the same way that containers should be ephemeral, the cloudy hosts running them ought to be too, so avoid the accumulation of this slough.

If you're on bare metal then your ops people should be putting the normal housekeeping monitors and scripts on the server that they'd run on a 'normal' server.

If your 'devops' doesn't grasp the concept of general server husbandry then I'd rather not buy shares in your slack startup.

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Hey you – minion. Yes, IT dudes and dudettes, they're talking to you

wheelybird

Yeah, but no, but..

I agree with the thrust of the article, but the reality is of course that there aren't as many system 'architect' jobs going as sysadmins or helpdesk. You'll still need some form of IT support; to imagine that all support and administration tasks will be automated is pretty naive.

I don't think it's fair to dismiss readily the people who are happy to work in a support role for their whole career. Why should they aspire to an 'architect' role if they don't want to?

The other issue is that compared to ten years ago the amount of new technologies is astounding. It's hard, no, impossible to keep up to date with them all. So yeah, an architect should have a good idea of what's out there but it's unavoidable that a lot of it will be shallow knowledge; vague impressions even.

So the idea that an architect will come in, look at the issues and splurge out the ideal solution immediately from their vast store of knowledge is a nonsense. Anyone worth the money will spend a while analysing the issues and then a good deal of time research potential solutions and offer up different options to their employer or client.

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Learn a scripting language and play nicely: How to get a DevOps job

wheelybird

A nonsense

This is a nonsense. If DevOps is supposed to mean *anything* it's supposed to mean a form of collaboration between dev and ops which allows everyone to do their job as painlessly as possible, be happy and fulfilled in life and churn out crappy software updates on a weekly/daily/hourly basis in order to fix the last crappy software update you did.

You don't have such a thing as a DevOps 'role'. You still work either in dev or ops. It's supposed to be about getting the procedures and toolkits right.

So telling someone that they need to learn how to be a developer and a sysadmin at the same time suggests that whichever paid-per-word pseudo tech journalist drone wrote this "article" knows less about DevOps than the average CTO.

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wheelybird

I wouldn't trust many developers I know to write a a B+ tree library in C. But then this shows a flawed mindset; why not use one of the pre-existing B+ tree libraries?

There are different levels of coding with developers too, you see. I know sysadmins that code better than a good proportion of developers.

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

wheelybird

Like WINE in reverse.

But can you use it to play Linux games on Windows?

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True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

wheelybird

Re: Haters gonna hate

Well about improving Linux - systemd *attempts* to improve Linux desktop/mobile installations. None of the systemd "improvements" make any sense in a server environment. Faster boot times? Fsck a thumb drive?

Have you seen systemd's cron replacement? Yuck! Binary logging is in no way an improvement over text logs. The FreeBSD init system is a much better fit for server systems.

I've got no real issues with systemd on a desktop system aside from the fact that it becomes a dependency of other stuff. How on earth that came about I have no idea. :(

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Half the staff go gardening at the now not-so-jolly Jolla

wheelybird

The gesture based stuff has gone a bit downhill, yes. The really annoying thing is the big focus on Android integration rather than getting the native stuff up to scratch.

If I wanted to use Android apps I could, you know, buy an Android phone.

They seem to have spent a lot of development effort on that rather than fixing some long, long-running bugs. Like crappy network management, or buggy IMAP IDLE.

*sigh*

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You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

wheelybird

Try ElementaryOS on a old Acer netbook. :) Or if you want to stick to Ubuntu, switch your Desktop manager to something like Enlightenment. I think we should all be well pas the time when you mistake "Linux" (i.e. the kernel, which supports loads of older hardware) for "Ubuntu with Unity".

I imagine these days you might even be able to get a Linux distro with a GUI running on something as underpowered as a RaspberryPi!

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wheelybird

Now I'm sure there's a mobile "version of Linux" knocking about some shops somewhere. Now I think of it, I recall there was an amazingly successful crowdfundy thing to produce a tablet for it to run on. Now what's it called again? HoverfishOS? SailpigOS? No, it's gone. If only I was a technology journalist writing about Linux on mobile devices then I'd be bound to have heard of it.

And then there was that other one, netOS? webOP? You know, the one that used to be in phones and tablets in the shops, and is now on TVs and Audi watches.

And that new one just released in India that'll be on phones, tablets and TVs soon. Tizer? Tiger?

I recently bought a Nexus 4 in order to try out other Linuxy-based OSes. Ubuntu easily trounces FirefoxOS, but I found the UI to be a bit of a mess - a half-hearted implementation of gestures, a confusing home screen system with "scopes" that offered difficult-to-get-to home screen personalisations.

No mobile OS around at the moment beats the user experience of webOS. Shame no-one's reviving that for phones and tablets.

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Part 3: Docker vs hypervisor in tech tussle SMACKDOWN

wheelybird

I think you've missed the point of Docker - it's not meant to run simultaneous operating systems on the same server. It's not virtualisation - it's a encapsulation and deployment solution. You're not "giving up" high-availability - that's provided by the design of your production infrastructure and software architecture.

Your article is essentially pointless.

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Sailfish OS tablet is GO: Fans stuff cash into Jolla's cap in hand

wheelybird

It is a shame it doesn't, but I think it's much to difficult to get open-source drivers for ARM SoCs, which is why they've gone for Intel.

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wheelybird

Re: Any chance of Sailfish running android apps like BBOS 10.3 does?

Well Maemo/Meego and WebOS had multi-tasking first.

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wheelybird

Re: Open source

That's why the tablet is Intel rather than ARM - I believe that the intent is all of the hardware will be supported by open-source drivers.

They're gradually open-sourcing other parts of the OS too, but I think there are still a few apps that are closed source. What I'd like to see is more options to use alternative apps as default and for them to speed up the process of getting apps into their app store.

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Fasthosts goes titsup, blames DNS blunder

wheelybird

Re: Useless

You're normally able to change your nameservers via whichever company you registered your domain with. The bad news is that you probably bought your domains from fasthosts, so until their servers are back up you're not going to be able to change those settings.

You'll also need DNS hosting to switch over to. ZoneEdit.org used to be OK, but It think someone bought them out recently.

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Remember Palm's WebOS? LG does – check out its smart TVs

wheelybird

The screen isn't matte, but it's not overly reflective. The polarising layers (for the 3D) seem to mitigate reflections.

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wheelybird

Re: I actually want one

There is a 32" model - I bought it last week. The journalist here might not have done their research properly. :)

Look for the 32LB650V @ ~£440. It doesn't come with the magic remote - that's an extra £25 from Amazon.

I had a HP Pre3 and I loved webOS on that. It's not quite as good as a smart TV platform, but it's still quite good. The 32" model is a dual-core ARM processor (I don't know the type/speed). It provides reasonable performance, but perhaps not a smooth as higher-end models. The TV still suffers from a ~30s wait from being turned on before you can fire up the smart TV features.

In general I think LG webOS is a pretty good first release, but I'd say some of the apps could certainly be refined (especially the DLNA playback app). I just hope that LG release webOS updates for all TVs on an ongoing basis rather than only releasing new versions of the OS on newer model TVs.

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Mail Migration

wheelybird

A bit vague

It's very difficult to say. It all depends on what you're on, what you're moving to, what you're migrating and how you're migrating. :)

How big are inboxes?

Is the new mail system on the same network? What bandwidth is available? Is it feasible to use disk-shipping if it's a remote system?

What storage backend does each system use?

If they're both maildir then the task is quite simple - copy all the files to the new system and perhaps script a few tweaks to some of the files.

If you use something like IMAPSync then it's going to take quite a bit longer. A large mailbox over the internet might take hours.

Is it just mail too, or are you going to try and migrate contacts and even calendars? Unless both systems use some kind of standard (CalDAV etc) then it's going to be a manual process - export, convert, import. Even with CalDAV etc. it's going to be fiddly.

So without having anything to go on, I'd say it'll take a few weeks, if not more.

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Recommendations for private cloud software...

wheelybird

Seafile.

Seafile. Better than OwnCloud in that the synchronisation works and doesn't delete your documents.

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Ex-Nokia team unveil Jolla smartphone with added Sailfish OS

wheelybird

Re: Don't think it's a good idea

Well you've completely missed not only the point of the phone, but evidently also lessons in spelling and grammar.

Jolla have themselves stated that they not in it to compete with Android/Apple. They know they won't become a dominant player. Their goal is simply to sell enough handsets to be a profitable niche market. This phone attracts people who want more choice than simply Android or iOS. You're obviously happy with those two options, so you know what; why don't you not buy one and pretend that the Jolla phone doesn't exist rather than embark on a poorly-written rant about how you, as the technology expert and prophet that you undoubtedly are, don't think it will succeed? Then perhaps revisit the days when you said that Android had no chance at that the market's dominated by Blackberry and Symbian.

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wheelybird

Re: No NSA please

They're using the fact that they don't collaborate with the NSA as one of the selling points.

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Linux backdoor squirts code into SSH to keep its badness buried

wheelybird

Re: @AC re slipstream SSH datastream

Hmm. Well Ubuntu desktop doesn't come with SSH installed by default. Certainly not LTS anyway.

And as someone else above pointed out, Linux *is* the kernel. You can't bang on about Linux being inherently insecure etc. when talking about an SSH server originally developed for another UNIX variant and which is available for almost every operating system you can name.

On top of that, not every distribution that includes SSH by default will necessarily use OpenSSH (which I assume is the server that was affected).

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

wheelybird

I remember this!

This was on Tomorrow's World quite a few years back. Nice to see the relentless progress of science continues.

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Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

wheelybird

Forging an email is a doddle, and TLS with authentication has nothing to do with making it harder. You can run an MTA on your own box if you honestly can't find some other MTA to send mail through. Even in your mail client you can set your name and email address to be different from your username/password when you do use authentication.

Of course, the recipient might have half decent filters on their mail servers that will check HELO addresses and reverse DNS and all that, but it possibly still won't bounce the message even if it looks suspicious because of all the false positives from badly configured MTAs out there.

The recipient could manually check the headers for a suspicious email, but I doubt there are many people that do that. So a lot of people won't notice that an email's forged unless (like most phishing attempts) the content of the email is obviously not genuine.

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Red Hat and dotCloud team up on time-saving Linux container tech

wheelybird

But what does it *do*?

Linux containers are a great way to run multiple Linux servers; you avoid the emulation layers that VMs require so the end result is that your container runs faster than a VM on the equivalent hardware. You can do a number of interesting things with the way you set up containers using features of the Linux kernel to allow for really easy cloning of containers and other fun things - e.g. containers on LVM2 or BTRFS.

I've come across Docker before and I can't quite see what it's offering that doesn't already exist when you use LXC intelligently. As far as I can work out, it's just allowing you to create the equivalent of virtual appliances that you can get from places like the VM store. That's fine, but that's just packaging tools and templating - they're not developing LXC itself. From the article it sounds like they're almost claiming that Docker's the only thing that makes containers useful, and that's a bit cheeky.

Incidentally, for those interested in playing with containers, I'd recommend trying them out on Ubuntu, as they've put a lot of effort into making it easy to create and manage containers (especially with using Ubuntu guest containers).

A final thought, I'm not sure why the article was banging on about bringing the containers down to upgrade the kernel. I can't think of that many instances where software development depends on a specific kernel version in the first place, but if that is important then KSplice addresses that particular issue - kernel upgrades without a reboot.

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Ex-Palm CEO Rubinstein wishes HP sale never happened

wheelybird

Re: That was a genuine waste

I still use my Pre3. You're right about the hardware - it was outdated even for the time, but I don't have any issues with performance really. The bootup time is ages, but then I rarely need to reboot.

It was designed as a business phone, so the multimedia aspects are iffy. Sound's not great and there's no expandable storage.

The touchstone charging's great though - I've got one at work and one at home and it beats plugging it into cables to charge hands down.

Obviously the selling point is the OS. WebOS gestures and multi-tasking is so effortless and intuitive that when I try using other mobile OSes, they just feel jarring and ugly. WebOS could still be fantastic if they could just update it - new browsers etc. It's a shame that HP killed it dead.

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Review: Philips Hue network enabled multicolour lightbulbs

wheelybird
Meh

Coloured lighting is great

I have a couple of the Philips LivingColors lamps - they connect together so they have the same hue and they're designed to uplight - casting their light on walls. They're great; being able to control the lighting in your environment really is a great way of relaxing in the evening (or perking yourself up). It's highly effective psychologically.

However I wouldn't buy these lightbulbs, certainly not to use in ceiling fittings because downlighting is too direct and not as relaxing. I know you could put them in lamps, but that's still not as effective as proper uplights.

Add to that the inability to control them without a smartphone (or just switch them off and lose their only selling point) and these because expensive gimmicks with no real benefit.

Philips should perhaps create a hub that controls the existing LivingColors range. That seems like a more practical solution to whatever problem this product is trying to solve.

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Library ebooks must SELF-DESTRUCT if scribes want dosh - review

wheelybird

Re: "...digital copies of books should "deteriorate"..."

"They'll be inventing hardback and paperback versions of ebooks next."

They have. :( I went to buy an ebook once. It cost £20 because it was 'the hardback version'. Needless to say I didn't buy it.

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Review finds Wikipedia UK board needs major leadership overhaul

wheelybird

Re: It's not even subtle

Actually, it really is an interesting place. Worth a visit if you're on holiday in the south of Spain (don't forget your passport), but avoid the town centre as much as possible. Stick to the nature park which covers most of the side of the rock.

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Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

wheelybird
FAIL

Yes. IMAP is a web protocol. It's a very efficient web protocol. With IMAP idle, supported by several IMAP servers and quite a few clients, you get 'push' email. For example, my phone connects to my Dovecot IMAP server and I get email notifications the moment they hit my inbox. CalDAV etc. are also widely supported on mobile devices. iPhones can do CalDAV. CardDAV is for contacts, it's less widely used but I think the the iPhone does them.

So you *can* do essentially the same thing using open protocols. I can prove this by doing essentially the same thing with open protocols.

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Sinclair BASIC comes to Raspberry Pi

wheelybird

Re: The BASIC this article describes sounds more like

Sounds similar to SAM Coupe BASIC, which was based on Speccy BASIC.

SAM Coupe BASIC was pretty damn good.

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