Tag Archives | fedora

Notes from CentraLUG, 4-Oct-2010: Patent Absurdity

Five people attended the October meeting of the Central NH Linux User Group, an affiliated chapter of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group. We met at the NHTI Library, Room 146.

We had an attendee with a tech support question we weren’t able to answer on the spot, but gave him some resources to pursue. He was plugging his camera into his Ubuntu machine, and he wanted to set the mount point to be a fixed mount point rather that something dynamically created by dbus. He made some changes, but wasn’t sure of exactly what he had changed, and the device no longer appears when he plugs it in. It does appear on other machines, Linux Mint and Windows, so the device is unlikely to be broken. No one present was sure where the settings might be stored for this. We suggested joining the gnhlug-discuss list as well as the support forums provided by Ubuntu Linux. I look forward to some of our experts helping our friend out.

I let folks know that I’ve reserved the room for November and December. After that, we’ll likely start meeting with the ManchLUG group, unless someone else wants to keep running meetings in Concord. We reviewed the GNHLUG wiki for upcoming meetings. Especially noted were the upcoming DLSLUG meeting “About Lisp -or- Lambda, the Ultimate Lecture, presented by Yoni Rabkin” and the New Hampshire High Tech Council‘s TechWorld 2010 conference ($25 – $210) coming up next Thursday and Friday. We discussed the idea that a nicer-looking forum software, like Drupal, would be nice to implement on the GNHLUG site, and talked about the past efforts to do that, and some of the challenged past projects have run into.

We mentioned that there’s a effort to create a community-driven site to support and distribute a new fork to OpenOffice.org named LibreOffice. Some of the other projects involved in the MySQL – Sun – Oracle mergers have been making interesting news as well.

Thanks to Dave Rose for providing the projector. We used a Live USB version of Fedora 14 beta which shipped last week and saw a pretty remarkable “It Just Works” effect: plugging in the running ThinkPad (a T61, 1680×1050, with an nVidia controller), the open source nouveau driver recognized the Sharp projector and automatically reconfigured the display (1400×1050) for side-by-side (“twinview”) layout with the internal screen. No xrandr, no rebooting of the machine! Wow. We brought up the Gnome display properties dialog and moved them around and finally settled on a mirrored display for the main presentation. This is a huge time saver and convenience for doing presentations!

Our main presentation was a viewing of the documentary, “Patent Absurdity, How software patents broke the system” and a discussion afterwards on what you can do (contact your Congress-person, contribute to organizations, etc.). Everyone learned something from the show, and perhaps from the discussion afterwards.

Thanks to all for attending to Dave for providing the projector, and to NHTI for providing the facilities!

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Fedora 10 “Cambridge” ships!

Last Wednesday, just in time to give thanks, the five-year-old Fedora Project released their 10th version, code-named Cambridge. Fedora 10 has all the latest goodies: a very improved wireless networking tool, far better Java support, and a slew of features they list here. I was very impressed with the new version upgrade features: I was able to download a single “pre-upgrade” package and run it to convert my Fedora 9 installation on my ThinkPad T61 to a Fedora 10. Over at the Linux Format website, Andy Hudson reviews the new release and concludes, “If you’ve not tried Fedora, or have moved away from it in the past then you should definitely take a look…”

Jump on the bandwagon and check out the new Fedora 10 here

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Catching up…

It’s been busy, busy month, and blogging was one of many things put off. Now, it’s time to start catching up.

I had an awesome month of June. Working on my main client project, we released yet another update on 12 June. After that, I took two weeks “off” — at least away from billing — to do some professional upkeep.

I spent a few days studying and then took the two MySQL 5.0 Developer certification exams on Tuesday the 17th. I went to the Blended Solutions facility in the Mall of New Hampshire, adjoining the PSNH building on Elm Street in Manchester, NH, and took the two exams, back-to-back. The first exam was the simpler of the two. Reviewing all the questions a couple times, I was still done in under an hour. The second exam, though, was a bear! The material was the more advanced stuff, some of the questions were trickier, some of the topics were material I had only book knowledge on. I marked a bunch of questions for review, went back and filled in all the answers, reviewed and debated and over-thought a bunch of questions and then, with three minutes left, decided any answers I changed in a panic were more likely wrong than right, and stopped. I passed both exams with acceptable scores, but nothing I’d brag about. “What do they call the man who graduates at the bottom of his class in med school?” “Doctor.” So, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to establish my level of knowledge, flag a couple of areas I need to learn more about, earn a logo I can display as part of my marketing and gain a listing as a MySQL Enterprise Ready Partner.

Wednesday the 18th of June was the first day of the Red Hat Summit in Boston. I attended all three days, commuting from Contoocook to the Anderson Rail Center in Wilmington and taking public transportation from there. While it made for a lot of hours on the road, the savings over staying in town were significant (total parking and rail for the week: $84 for 6 days), and sleeping at home in my own bed very much appreciated. The Red Hat Summit was a fascinating event. I wasn’t that familiar with the corporate structure or the market focus of Red Hat and I got much better insights into who they are and what they do. Here’s a slew of links on what went on, Red Hat announcements, and links to presentations.

Parallel to the Red Hat Summit was the Fedora Users and Developers Conference, FUDCon10 for short, that shared the Hynes Auditorium facilities on Thursday and Friday, and met at the Photonics Center at Boston University on Saturday. Even though many Fedora participants are Red Hat employees, the tone and structures of the groups are dissimilar. I missed a lot of the last-minute organizational notes the FUDCon’ners put together to organize their HackFest, so I tended to attend the Red Hat sessions instead. In the future, I’m more likely to put more effort into the HackFest side of things. Saturday was a BarCamp, a one-day self-organized conference. As I noted at last year’s conference, the means of pitching sessions, voting, scheduling and running the show are put together on the fly, and the results are startlingly good. Having pretty much had my brain filled of tech at the Red Hat Summit, I chose instead to focus more on process sessions, and learned about bug triaging, web site usability issues, and Fedora structure. A great use of a day, and a great chance to attach faces to the name and shake a few hands.

Sunday was a day of rest for me, and a day of washing laundry for Laura. Thank you!

Monday found me back on the Commuter Rail, this time attending An Event Apart just across the street from the Prudential Center where the Summit had been. Two long days of sessions were focused on the web, primarily design and usability, very different aspects from the two previous conferences. Like the Red Hat Summit, this conference was a little outside my comfort zone, in this case, designers rather than developers. Jeffrey Zeldman puts on an incredible show; facilities were superb, speakers knowledgeable, swag cool. Eric Meyer is the authority in the field of CSS, and it was his sessions I got the most practical tools from, but all of the sessions were well-presented, informative and thought-provoking. Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering had a very funny and very insightful session on analyzing clickstreams for success that will have me restructuring some of my client’s web sites. All of the speakers had great observations on the state of the art and future directions. Great stuff! Several other people took great notes I can share with you.

Arriving back to work on Wednesday, there was no time to decompress; a day of meetings lead to a couple frantic days of shipping yet another release and picking up another couple of projects. Thirty billable hours later, my super-contractor did a high-five tag-team tag and was off on his own adventures, while I took over sheparding a release out the door on Friday with some new features, new team members, new procedures and new prototcols. Whew!

It’s been an exhausting three weeks, but an exhilarating time, too. Hope to blog more details as I catch up on all the other projects.

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Fedora 8 Everything Spin Released! — Fedora Unity Project

The Fedora Unity Project announces Fedora 8 Everything Spin Released!: “The Fedora Unity Project is proud to announce the release of new spin, the Everything Spin. Included in this spin are all the packages available at the time Fedora 8 was released.”

A neat feature of recent ( 7 & 8 ) Fedora releases is the ability to create your own derivative distributions based on the tools supplied with the package. This allows the LiveCD and LiveUSB features I mentioned earlier, and allows independent groups to create specialized disk images (“spins” in their inside chatter) to meet specific needs, in this case, a set of CDs for those who don’t have a DVD handy. I ran into this situation recently with a customer who had chosen to economize on his server specifications by cutting out a DVD that was likely to be used only a few times over the lifetime of the hardware. It’s cool that the Fedora build process has been made public and the tools to do this added to the distro itself.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.