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Singularity

Welcome to Singularity's Blog. Here we will talk about Linux and related matters. All in a new critical point of view. In this blog you will see more about ethics, philosophy, development, industry behavior, economics, political, coding, Linux and FOSS communities, taboos (and fake-taboos), and all know topics related.

 We will also  discuss more about applications and tendencies behaviors, and many problem-solution environments in the market, government and educational targets - in many countries.

 

 

Mandriva is back!

As soon I saw that the Spring edition of Mandriva 2009 was finally out I downloaded the ONE edition ISO and burned it to a CD. I decided to use one of my spare hard drives to load it on because I have an openSUSE 11.1 install currently on my home machine and everything works beautifully on it and I didn't want to mess up a good thing. I booted up to the live CD and was greeted with that good old Mandriva intro sound effect meaning that it had correctly configured my sound device. I didn't waist any time with the live CD I immediately launched the live installer and preceded to install to the internal HD.

The installation went off without a hitch, but this was to be expected from Mandriva. They have always been one of my favorite distros. Mandriva was one of the original distros I tried when I first got into Linux. I have always found their products to be very refined and extremely professional. This release is no different and the only reason I switched to openSUSE since the last Mandriva release was because I was having weird problems with VMWARE server and it seemed to work flawlessly on openSUSE. I have to have a way to run virtual machines because I am constantly testing different setups and trying new things out and I seldom want to use an entire hard drive just for testing. We will get to that later.

First let me say that the first release of Mandriva 2009 was one of the first major distros to adopt KDE 4 and for all I know that could have been the reason for some of the weird problems I had. This time around the version of KDE is up to 4.2.2 and they have definitely ironed out some of the wrinkles and done a lot of refining because everything runs better and is much more fluent. This is the exact same hardware I had before too so it has to be an improvement in either the desktop environment or the kernel. After changing some of the packages that come by default and adding some of my own favorites I had everything operational within an hour.

The version I installed called "One" comes with Flash and Java and a lot of other things that you have to add yourself on other distros. I added DVD playback, Compiz Fusion, and for some reason there was no BitTorrent client so I added Ktorrent. From my experience its the best. I usually even add it when I do a Gnome install. I like it better than any of the Gnome clients. I then installed the free version of VMWARE server and it installed fine and so far has run great. If you have any trouble getting things to work I would suggest checking out THIS site. Lots of great help over there just click on your distro. Overall I am very impressed with this release if you would like to grab a copy for yourself just head over to MANDRIVA's website and download it for yourself.

 

Congratulations on the new Linux.com

Between the new Linux.com and http://moblinzone.com, not to mention MontaVista's announcement today of one of my favorite projects, I don't expect to get anything new done for the rest of the week. 

For what it's worth, I think the blog editor is excellent.  The hypertext link entry button works for me.

 MontaVista's announcement is for MontaVista Linux 6, an "integration platform" using a highly customized BitBake with MontaVista Linux to help developers create embedded Linux projects.  I'll be writing more about it on my personal blog as well as my blog at MontaVista.

 

My Fully Functioning Arch Linux Laptop

Specs

Dell Inspiron 1525N (Alpine White)
15.4 inch Widescreen glossy display (1280x800) & 2MP Webcam
Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 (2.00 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 2MB L2 Cache)
4GB DDR2, 667MHz 2 Dimm
Intel GMA X3100
160GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Integrated 10/100 NIC
Intel 3945 WLAN (802.11a/b/g) Mini Card
8X Slot Load DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
8 in 1 card reader
Integrated High Definition Audio 2.0
Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal
85 WHr 9-cell Battery
Ports: 4USB, 1 IEEE 1394a, 2 Headphone, 1 Microphone, 1 Media Card, 1 S-Video, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Ethernet, 1 Modem, 1 Power

 Partitions

/dev/sda1        /boot                       94.10MB

/dev/sda2        swap                         3.81GB

/dev/sda5        /                                 30.52GB

/dev/sda6        /mnt/virtual        30.52GB

/dev/sda7        /home                     84.10GB

 

MSC MALAYSIA OSCONF 2009

 


 

MSC MALAYSIA OPEN SOURCE CONFERENCE 2009 will be held at Berjaya Times Square Hotel & Convention Center, Kuala Lumpur from 31st May 2009 to 3rd June 2009. This event is organized by MSC Malaysia & MAMPU and jointly supported by the Malaysian Open Source Community and MOSTI. This is the first time 4 crucial stakeholders consisting of government, businesses, developers and community will take part together. This conference positioned as an international forum will have sharing and exchanging ideas on technical advancements, applications, development and business cases on open source.

Developers, designers, systems administrators, community leaders, innovators, CTOs and CIOs, evangelists and activists, researchers, strategists, and entrepreneurs are invited to lead and contribute during all conference sessions, tutorials and discussions. Moreover, this conference will have renowned speakers from prime Open Source Enterprises which are Mozilla, Google and Red Hat to name a few and also not forgeting from the developer community - Ubuntu, BSD, Fedora, PHPs and etc...

More info is on the official portal of MSC Malaysia OSCONF 2009

 

The new linux.com

I like what they have done with linux.com it sounds like its going to be a great service.

I think ill move my blog about linux in general to here.

 

Using cat as a text editor

This is how you can use the cat command as a text editor:

$ cat > MyFile

write the text in the console, when done press CTRL+D

Now, if you'll open MyFile, you'll se that it contains the text you've entered. Be carefull as if the file you use is not empty, the content will be erased before adding what you're writting.

 

What to expect from Fedora 11

With about two weeks for the final release I hear many talking about Leonidas. I hear ext4, faster boot speed, new volume control and a lot of things which I could not comprehend. So I read the Feature List page in the Fedora project wiki and decided to come up with features that one might want to look up before installing 11 on to the system. As usual I've been using 11 from beta stage and have update it all this while. It is stable, in fact I have not experienced any bugs . Talking of bugs, I hear they even have a new bug reporting system for the non geeks which will send reports automatically. Lets have a look at the features most prominently advertised first and then go to the less popular ones.

20 Second Startup: This says it all, but the 20 second start up is just to the login screen. But what it doesn't say is the amazing way it boots up to the login screen. I have never seen this on any other distribution. It starts very smoothly giving the user a blue screen and it does not flicker a bit and smoothly changes to the login screen. My words don't give it any justice, really the experience is as refined as a Mac OS X even better.

Ext4 file system and brtfs: There is a lot of noise about the Ext4 file system being the default not only in Fedora but also Ubuntu. So what's the big deal about it. For the start ext4 can support disks of 1 exabyte and a single file can go upto 16 terabytes. On an ext3 the maximum disk size can be 16 TiB and the maximum file size 2 TiB and has a faster file system check so the server market should reap benefits from it. For the rest, we should notice generally better performance, and benefit from things like persistent preallocation when using updated torrent clients, etc. I have definitely seen a big difference in speed using a ext4 system. Brtfs may become the default file system for Fedora in a future release. It is the answer to ZFS in Solaris. It is definitely not suitable for day to day use but if you want to see the future file system add icantbelieveitsnotbtr at the installation prompt and you should be able to format your partition using brtfs. For more details about brtfs go to their wiki.

Volume Control: When I installed the beta looking at the feature list was impressed that I could connect my bluetooth head set and configure it with simplicity. But the installation didn't get the job done. It detected my Jabra Headset, that is all. Then after a few updates, I was bowled!

All I had to do was pair it with my system and POP it shows up in the volume configuration. Simply brilliant. There are still a few bugs, like it detects it as a mono system but by the release day I'm sure it will be done or one will find a fix in the due course. The volume can be centrally managed here thanks to the pulse audio system. And if you do run into trouble setting your volume refer to my post on Volume / Sound problem in Fedora 11.

Firefox 3.1 & Thunderbird 3: I love Firefox but it loads pages slowly. It is annoying at times how slow it can be. Using my brother's mac I saw the gulf yawning in between the speed of safari and firefox. I was planning to change to opera when along came 3.1. It has a new Java engine and loads pages a lot more quickly than 3.0. It is actually impressive. You can expect your browsing a lot quicker. That's something I like about Fedora. They bring the latest of the software in a release. You don't have to wait for another release to get it into the main repository. Firefox 3, OpenOffice 3.0, Firefox 3.1, Gimp 2.6, all of them put into the appropriate release. For us who like to be in the bleeding edge of the software end, Fedora should be the choice. Thunderbird 3 is also included, not in the Live CD but you'll find it in the repository. It also has a lot of improvement over 2 which you can find here.

GNOME 2.6 and KDE 4.2: Of course you get the latest of the desktop environments also. KDE 4.2 is something to look out for. They have done a lot of improvements and is finally worth using. The GNOME users may not experience much of new features but for the Volume control. They haven't left out XFCE, fedora comes with the latest release, 4.6.

Presto: This is a plug-in for ‘yum'. It enables delta rpm support in Fedora. Delta rpm is an rpm file which stores the difference between versions of a package. For example updating the open office suite would nearly take a 100 M download, using deltarpms you can save up to 60 % that is you'd download only about 40M. It is not enabled by default so you will have to ‘yum' it.

yum install yum-presto

I installed the plugin and updated my system. Just see the output I got:

yum update
Loaded plugins: presto, refresh-packagekit
[text omitted]

Transaction Summary
================================================================================
Install 0 Package(s)
Update 20 Package(s)
Remove 0 Package(s)
Total download size: 101 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y
[text omitted]

Size of all updates downloaded from Presto-enabled repositories: 19M
Size of updates that would have been downloaded if Presto wasn't enabled: 101M
This is a savings of 82 percent

That saved me 82 M. Wow...

Supported Architecture: Users should notice slight speed improvements as 32 bit x86 would be built for i586 by default and PAE kernel would be installed where appropriate. In layman's language if you have a system with more than 4GB of memory you will be able to use it on a 32 bit system and not just 3.2 GB.

Automatic Fonts and Mime installer: With the introduction of Package Kit into the system of Fedora things have become very impressive especially in installing codecs. My previous post describes how additional codecs can be easily detected and installed with minimum configuration, very similar to that of Ubuntu.

In this release they have gone a step further. If you have a file which does not have an application to open, with the use of Package Kit Fedora would search an application to open the file:

And it does the same with fonts too:

DeviceKit: It is similar to HAL and it is to eventually replace it. It is a device management tool. One new software which is included in the devicekit is the Palimpsest Disk Utility. It checks your hard disk and notifies you the state of your drive.

It also checks the status of your disks at login time and provides fixes. You can do basic file system operation in it like deletion of partition or renaming a label and others.

X-server 1.6: With X-server 1.6 spanning desktop is a piece of cake. It wasn't difficult to setup my 21inch Samsung monitor to span with my laptop.

One might notice you cannot kill X using Ctrl-Alt-Backspace which personally I miss. To enable it you will have to add Option "DontZap" "false" in the ServerFlags section of the xorg.conf file.

Fingerprint: Support in fingerprint is improved in this release. I personally do not have a system with fingerprint recognition so have not tested it. You can look here for further details.

Synaptics: This was one thing that tripped me off. When I installed Fedora at the beta stage I couldn't just get tapping enabled by default. I was annoyed and even made a mention of it in my review. But later did I realise that with this release things were beginning to improve. Touch Pads can be configured with ease. If you are having trouble configuring your touch pad look here.

Kernel Mode setting for Intel Chipsets: With Fedora 10 Plymouth was introduced removing the good old rhgb. Plymouth brings about brilliant graphical boot screen and with kernel mode setting enabled in Intel chipsets you wouldn't notice any change in graphic settings from the boot up to the login screen thus making the boot up very refined.

For developers 11 comes with Netbeans 6.5, Windows Cross Compiler, Python 2.6 and integrating Linux Tools OProfile and Valgrind into Eclipse IDE. Windows Cross Compiler is interesting as it enables programmers to build windows softwares right off their system.

Virtualization hasn't been left off either. Virtual guests have improved graphical consoles with accurate mouse pointer and higher screen resolution. With SASL authentication introduced one does not require to tunnel through SSH to access VNC servers (VNC is been use to interact with QEMU remotely.) Kvm and QEMU have been merged into a single package which makes sure qemu does not lag behing kvm.

Underlying features that support the release are rpm 4.7, rewrite of anaconda storage, DNSSEC, DRI2 for better 3d support and compositing manager, gcc 4.4, IBus, improved interaction of GDM with PAM, update of the radeon r100/r200 3D drivers,Nouveau as default driver for NVIDIA graphic cards, stronger hashes and couple of others too.

This release has got me more excited than 10. The features as the wiki says it "dwarfs any other release". It looks very promising and the future for Fedora seems brighter. It is definitely a brilliant milestone after 10 releases.

 

Manifesto?

My firs post on Linux.com! 

I hope this will become a habitude for me to post some news about the linux-bound experiments I am making. Many of them involve Linux, Mono and some strange ideas I have been thinking of for some time.

Every big company tries its best to please its investors. And sadly many companies hae been thiking for quite some time that closing secrets into the safes of the code gives real technological and thus business advantage.

Sony recently pointed out that it would have won against Apple if it had been more open. 

Steve Ballmer is pushing a strategy completely based on the fact that many things can be open sourced without a multi-million company to lose its grip on the competition.

This blog will try to explain my love for Mono & C# & Visual Studio through my experiments in integration between the best of both worlds.

 

 

FSSE.INFO

Free Software Server Environment Information

www.fsse.info

 

OSDE.INFO

Open Source Desktop Environment Information

www.osde.info

 
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