Daily links for 08/02/2011

  • “WebSphere Application Server V8 samples are new and improved! Although you will continue to find key sample applications installed with the product, most samples are now available online and can be accessed from a new section in the WebSphere Application Server V8 Information Center. Sample code, documentation, and other resources reside online, under one roof, which increases availability and collaboration, while providing samples in a time-sensitive manner.”

    tags: websphere application samples

  • “With the release of Java 7 this week, Oracle posted a support policy expressly stating that it would not support the new Java 7 software development kit on VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V. Oracle has since said that it “mistakenly created” the policy page, but that the company will stick to its standard policy regarding non-Oracle components in a mixed stack: They’re not supported unless users can prove the problem stems from the Oracle part of the stack.”

    tags: oracle java virtualization

  • “Microsoft is buying $100 million in additional SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates and the pair are going to continue to collaborate on interopability solutions through January 1, 2016. The SUSE certificates are designed to insure Microsoft customers who are implementing Linux that they won’t be caught in any Microsoft-Linux patent crossfire.”

    tags: microsoft suse novell linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 05/03/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 04/28/2011

  • “A thick, heavy book with the equally weighty title A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming may be the single most important Linux book you ever buy.”

    tags: linux macosx book

  • “Canonical has announced the official release of Ubuntu 11.04, codenamed Natty Narwhal. This major update introduces the new Unity desktop shell, which is designed to improve ease of use and deliver a more modern user experience.”

    tags: ubuntu linux

  • “In lab tests, people can distinguish between sounds as little as five milliseconds apart, and our involuntary timing is even quicker. If you’re hiking through a jungle and a tiger growls in the underbrush, your brain will instantly home in on the sound by comparing when it reached each of your ears, and triangulating between the three points. The difference can be as little as nine-millionths of a second.”

    tags: brain time newyorker

  • Python Math is a full implementation of the Python Programming Language with a restricted set of modules focused on mathematics processing. For more information, documentation, tutorials, downloads for other computers, and even merchandise about Python, go to python.org. No network connection is needed. The Python Math interpreter runs in your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Python Math is a universal app, meaning that it runs on iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, without downloading a separate app.”

    tags: ipad iphone programming python math

  • “iLuaBox provides an intuitive environment to learn, write, and run scripts written in the Lua Programming Language. This is not a stripped down version of Lua, but rather a full-featured implementation that is optimized for iOS 4.2. iLuaBox is a universal application that runs on any iOS 4.2 compatible device.”

    tags: iphone ipad iluabox lua programming

  • “Yet the stock is stuck, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its May 2 edition. It closed at $26.38 yesterday versus its average of about $27 since the start of 2001. The shares, which first surpassed $26 in 1998, have lost about 7.1 percent including dividends in the past decade while the S&P 500 returned 30 percent.”

    tags: microsoft stock

  • “Second beta for the LibreOffice 3.4 open-source office suite is available one week after Oracle dumped a commercial version of OpenOffice.org

    tags: libreoffice oracle openoffice.org

  • “As expected, the buyout of Linux power Novell by Attachmate has finally gone through. On April 27th, Attachmate acquired Novell for $6.10 per share in cash–approximately $2.2-billion. With this deal completed, Novell is now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Attachmate Group, the parent company of Attachmate Corporation. Immediately prior to the merger Novell completed it’s “previously announced sale of certain identified issued patents and patent applications to CPTN Holdings LLC for $450 million in cash.””

    tags: novell attachmate linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 04/08/2011

  • “But others in the company have apparently been crunching the numbers to argue against such a rapid expansion. In order to match the appeal of the Apple Stores, Microsoft‘s stores have proven expensive to build. Plus, most of the stores have so far failed to turn a profit, according to Business Insider. One reason is that many of the products they sell are available at a variety of other retail chains.”

    tags: microsoft apple

  • “A consortium made up of Apple, EMC, Microsoft and Oracle which planned to purchase 882 Novell patents, following Novell’s takeover by Attachmate, has altered its strategy in order to defuse anti-trust concerns. According to the Open Source Initiative (OSI), the consortium will only exist for a further three months with the aim of dividing the Novell patents up between its members. All four members will be granted licenses for all of the patents. Microsoft is reported to have undertaken to sell its patents back to Attachmate and retain only the right to use the technologies protected by the patents. Similarly, VMware parent EMC is reported to have agreed not to acquire any of the patents relating to virtualisation.”

    tags: novell cptn microsoft emc apple oracle

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 03/04/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 03/01/2011

GPL and the Apple App Store

Linux

  • “Why, in this day of razor-thin and elegant Macs, actually usable Windows 7, and cloud-connected gadgets would anyone bother to carve up their hard drive and install Linux, the geekiest of the major operating systems? Linux will never be everyone’s desktop, but here’s why it might be just perfect for you, as a workhorse or a hobby.”

    tags: linux

  • Novell today announced DB2, IBM‘s highly successful database software, is now available as an easy-to-use online download on SUSE® Gallery and as an adaptable template within SUSE Studio™. Today’s announcement builds on Novell’s momentum to deliver software appliances across a range of IBM software, including WebSphere, Lotus and Smart Business, all powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise.

    Novell logo

    DB2 is the first IBM software available for download from SUSE Gallery, an online showcase where users can browse, download and publish software appliances and cloud-based applications. The DB2 template is also available within Novell’s appliance-building tool SUSE Studio, which greatly simplifies the process of creating an appliance based on DB2 database software. As a result, ISVs have the choice of downloading DB2 as a software appliance from SUSE Gallery and using it immediately, or using SUSE Studio to customize the database image to fit their specific needs.”

    tags: novell suse db2 linux ibm

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/21/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/15/2011

Linux

  • “The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced a new initiative to promote Linux training within colleges and universities in Malaysia. This initiative by LPI affiliate, LPI-Asia Pacific (LPI-APAC: http://www.lpi-apac.org/), will enable post-secondary academic programs in Malaysia to adopt LPI training as part of their regular IT curriculum. LPI-APAC is working with the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia (http://www.mohe.gov.my) in introducing this program to both private and public educational institutions within Malaysia.”

    tags: linux Malaysia

  • “September 8th 2008 was one of the worst days ever for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and high-end Windows server-based applications. That was the day that the LSE came to a crashing stop. What happened? While the LSE has never come clean on the whole story, my sources told me that the LSE’s Windows-based .NET TradElec stock exchange had crashed. What we do know is that the CEO who had brought Windows and TradElec in was fired, TradElec was dumped, and a Novell SUSE Linux-based platform was brought in to replace it.”

    tags: london linux

IBM and Jeopardy

  • “Watson is an effort by I.B.M. researchers to advance a set of techniques used to process human language. It provides striking evidence that computing systems will no longer be limited to responding to simple commands. Machines will increasingly be able to pick apart jargon, nuance and even riddles. In attacking the problem of the ambiguity of human language, computer science is now closing in on what researchers refer to as the “Paris Hilton problem” — the ability, for example, to determine whether a query is being made by someone who is trying to reserve a hotel in France, or simply to pass time surfing the Internet.”

    tags: watson ai jeopardy

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 01/19/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 12/06/2010

  • “But a key player in all of this that you might not have heard of is the Brussels-based “Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace”, or ICOMP, which has been lobbying for an antitrust investigation. ICOMP is a organisation whose sole purpose appears to be to attack Google: it was set up to protest against Google’s DoubleClick acquisition and has spent the last few years churning out blog posts slamming the search giant and approaching journalists out of the blue with carefully primed stories. Why does this matter? Because ICOMP is almost entirely funded – and not always wholly transparently – by Microsoft, one of Google’s main competitors in search.”

    tags: google microsoft

  • “The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that Google’s Wave communication platform has been accepted into the Apache Incubator – a proposal to migrate portions of the code base to the ASF was posted to the Apache Incubator wiki last month by Google and Novell employees, as well as several independent developers.”

    tags: google wave apache

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 11/23/2010

  • “When Novell turned down an offer to be acquired by hedge fund Elliot Associates earlier this year, it seemed like the Linux vendor was looking for a better deal. The company announced today that it has accepted an offer to be acquired for $2.2 billion by software company Attachmate. Parallel to the acquisition, Novell has sold over 800 patents for $450 million to a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft.”

    tags: novell suse linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 09/28/2010

OpenOffice.org Forks into LibreOffice

  • “The bad news is that in the same time period the OpenOffice suite could have become so much more. As with other single-company controlled efforts in the past (e.g., the Eclipse Foundation, before IBM spun it out into an independent organization), other companies that could have, and would have, made significant contributions of personnel, funding and promotion stood aside.

    Why? Because Sun maintained too much control. This reality has played out over and over during the past 30 years – when one or a few companies maintain too much control, others stay away, because they can’t be sure that the project will be managed for everyone’s benefit.”

    tags: openoffice libreoffice

  • “Robert Sutor, IBM’s VP of Open Systems and Linux, said”First and foremost, we want to see high quality and interoperable implementations of ODF, the Open Document Format, that will drive greater adoption of the standard. This will take continued innovation and collaboration in an active and broad-based open source community. It will also need products like Lotus Symphony 3, which is on track for an on-time release, that build on the great work done by both the OpenOffice and Eclipse communities. We’ve made no decisions about the new LibreOffice community and will assess how best to work with it as we learn more.”

    tags: openoffice libreoffice

  • “BROffice, Google, Novell and Red Hat are among the sponsors of LibreOffice, a community led fork of OpenOffice that is to be developed under the umbrella of a European based non-profit to be named The Document Foundation.

    While development of the new fork will focus around the developers inherited from Novell, Red Hat and Debian, the project has the support of the great majority of the community surrounding OpenOffice.org; Among those who have expressed support for LibreOffice and the Document Foundation are the Free Software Foundation, the OSI, OASIS, Canonical, credativ and Collabora and the Gnome Foundation.”

    tags: libreoffice openoffice

Firefox

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 09/25/2010

Linux

  • “Still, The VAR Guy doubts Oracle wants to go after the Linux masses. Rather, CEO Larry Ellison’s strategy seems pretty simply: If a customer wants to run Oracle applications on Linux, then Oracle wants to be the Linux of choice.”

    tags: linux oracle

  • Ubuntu is one of the most polished Linux distributions available, fusing the work of a global community of contributors who provide a diverse range of skills to make Ubuntu what it is.

    While we all enjoy the fruits of a new Ubuntu release every six months, many people have asked the team over the years how this wide range of contributors manage to come together to build a new Ubuntu release.”

    tags: ubuntu linux

  • “Many of Mandriva’s exiting developers have joined together with others to fork the once popular distribution and have dubbed their new distribution Mageia, which translates to “Magic.” It’s a distribution, as explained on its Website, not “dependent on the economic fluctuations and erratic, unexplained strategic moves of the company.” “Mageia is a community project. This organization will manage and coordinate the distribution: code & software hosting and distribution, build system, marketing, foster communication and events.”

    tags: Mandriva Mageia linux

Firefox

  • “3D in your browser! FoxTab brings innovative 3D functionality to your Firefox.”

    tags: firefox extensions

  • “PDF Download by Nitro PDF Software is the leading tool for handling, viewing and creating Web-based PDF files and is enjoyed by millions of Firefox users every day. The browser extension removes the pain you can experience when you encounter PDF files online, reducing browser crashes, speeding up the display of a PDF’s content, and letting you convert any (unsecured) Web page into a high-quality PDF that’s great for archiving, printing and sharing.”

    tags: firefox pdf extensions

    • “iMacros was designed to automate the most repetitious tasks on the web. If there’s an activity you have to do repeatedly, just record it in iMacros. The next time you need to do it, the entire macro will run at the click of a button! With iMacros, you can quickly and easily fill out web forms, remember passwords, create a webmail notifier, download information from other sites, scrape the Web (get data from multiple sites), and more. You can keep the macros on your computer for your own use, or share them with others by embedding them on your homepage, blog, company Intranet or any social bookmarking service.”

      tags: firefox extensions productivity

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 08/25/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 07/27/2010

      • “I’ve been using the latest version (10.04) of Ubuntu Linux since April and there’s a lot to like about it. I announced earlier this year that I was giving desktop Linux another look, and I went with Ubuntu because it is the Linux distribution most focused on a desktop OS. I have lots of observations about the Ubuntu experience and how it compares to Mac and Windows, but I’m going to save most of that feedback for another article.

        Today I want to talk about two significant advantages that Ubuntu has over Windows 7 and Mac OS X.”

        tags: ubuntu linux windows

      • Novell today released SUSE® Gallery™, a new online showcase for registered SUSE® Studio users to publish their appliances and cloud-based applications. With SUSE Gallery, end users can browse published appliances for the solution to their particular commercial or personal need, and then download the appliance free of charge. With an appliance, the end user avoids the typical installation and configuration headaches that come with many traditional software applications. For independent software vendors (ISVs) and other software developers, SUSE Gallery represents an opportunity to broaden the exposure of their application and reach an entirely new audience.”

        tags: suse novell linux

      • “In a world where you can buy rod holders in gold metal and dock lines in every color of the rainbow, it was perhaps inevitable. But it is nonetheless shocking. Duct Tape, considered among the most useful inventions since it was developed during World War II, has gone designer.”

        tags: boat diy

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 06/21/2010

      • “So which Linux music app is the best? Well, that’s up to you. There is no such thing as the best piece of software, just the one that’s most suited for your needs.
        When it comes to music players, Linux doesn’t just stack up well against the competition, it’s actually well ahead of it, offering features you won’t find on other platforms.”

        tags: ubuntu, itunes, music

      • “VMware and Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT), two rival virtualization technology providers with little love between them, are now publicly feuding over what VMware’s decision to offer an OEM version of Novell (NSDQ:NOVL)’s SUSE Linux means.
        The latest spat between the two stems from a June 9 announcement that VMware will distribute and support Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system with its vSphere technology, and will standardize its virtual appliance-based product offerings on that operating system, known also as SLES.”

        tags: vmware, novell, microsoft

      • “The Gnome Developer Training sessions at GUADEC are designed to give experienced software developers the tools that they need to get the most out of developing free software in an open community.

        Improve the productivity of your development team with this two day course, which includes a hands-on practical session and an in-depth overview of the social aspect of community development. Learn how to reduce maintenance costs, get your work upstream and influence the direction of upstream projects. Covering common Linux development tools, the GNOME and FreeDesktop.org development platforms, this course will put extra tools into your developer’s toolbox.”

        tags: gnome, developer, training, open-source

      • “Adopting Chrome OS would be a wound for Microsoft. Dell already uses Ubuntu Linux on a handful of netbooks, but the new platform would give it a higher-profile OS and one that could help further reduce the price of a Mini netbook. Chrome OS needs SSD storage but, as it has a very small footprint and depends on web apps, can use drives that are cheaper than conventional hard drives. Similarly, it uses less memory as nearly every task occurs within just one app.”

        tags: dell, chrome, google, ubuntu, microsoft

      • “Meanwhile, Lucid Lynx is running nicely in a “virtual machine” on my MacBook Pro. I’ve been testing a variety of applications that could replace the Mac software I’ve come to rely on, though in some cases I can’t easily find adequate replacements (such as the blog-posting software I’m using to create this post).

        I’m planning to make this transition slow and systematic. And I’ll be blogging periodically about the process. These postings won’t be aimed at geeky folks, but rather at others like me who believe in true freedom of choice in a world where powerful institutions are trying to lure us — or force us — into their walled gardens.”

        tags: mac, linux

      • “One of the common complaints about Linux is that there are too many different editions (or “distributions”) to choose from, and only a hardcore nerd can tell them apart.

        Well, it’s true, but you can safely ignore 99 per cent of them. Welcome to The Register’s guaranteed impartiality-free guide. Tomorrow, we’ll tell you how to get them, burn them and set them up to dual-boot with Windows and on Wednesday there will be a guide to tweaking your new setup and getting it ready for use.”

        tags: linux

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      10 ideas about integrating open source into your IT infrastructure

      At the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) this year I did a presentation called “Asking the hard questions about open source software.” I’ve been expanding on some of the areas I mentioned and have previously posted the blog entries “10 elements of open source governance in your organization” and “10 considerations for maintaining open source in your organization.”

      Today I want to talk about integrating open source software into your IT infrastructure. Here’s the slide I used at OSBC:

      How easy is it to integrate the software with your data or other software you already use?

      • Does your software use recognized industry standards or does it have its own way of formatting data?
      • Are the developers of the software involved in creating the standards that will allow interoperability?
      • If you adopt the software, who will do the integration tasks?
      • Is the software certified for use on the operating system and hardware platform you plan to use?

      Integration means having your software systems and services talk to each other, wherever they may be located, in ways that implement the processes by which you run your company or organization. Integration failures can cause unhappy clients or customers, lost productivity and revenue, and sometimes legal problems.

      1. A certain vendor who shall remain nameless used to tell its customers “Integration and interoperability are easy, just buy everything from us.” They usually skipped the next part which would have said “and then you’ll be locked into our products and it will be very expensive and time-consuming to change that. Ha, ha, ha.” Most customers with whom I speak have a combination of traditional software from multiple vendors, open source from several providers, and various combinations of bespoke code. Your IT world is heterogeneous, probably, whether you are using open source or not.
      2. Newer technologies like Service Oriented Architecture and Cloud Computing can change and improve the way you implement your business processes. As you look across your IT landscape, ask yourself where open source software might or might not fit and where it will improve or possibly make worse what you are doing now. I say “open source software” in that last sentence, but you could substitute “any software I am considering using.” Remember that open source software is software, after all.
      3. Whatever the price of the software you are considering integrating into your IT infrastructure, you need to know if it will exchange information with full fidelity with your other installed software or that which you are using as a service, perhaps in the cloud. That is, does the open source software fully and correctly implement the open standards and protocols to allow it to drop into your infrastructure? Again, and for the last time here, you should ask this of any software, not just open source software.
      4. It is not sufficient to say “I have the code for the open source software, I can see how it does things, so I don’t care if it implements open standards for interoperability.” Code changes while standards define interfaces that are meant to be stable, at least for a while. By all means, ensure that the open source software implements open standards.
      5. Customers routinely test software vendors to see how well they implement standards. Expect them to do the same with open source software providers. Further expect to have to document each and every standard that it is used for interoperability, along with the versions implemented, and extent of implementation.
      6. Customers often ask traditional software vendors to join standards organizations. Expect them to do the same with open source software providers. You’ll need to figure out exactly what this means if the open source provider is a widely diverse community of people from many organizations. If a vendor who is a member of an open source community joins a standards organization because of a customer request, you’ll need to know explicitly whether the vendor is representing itself or the community.
      7. Vendors often take on the task of integrating software for customers, and there are system integrators who can do the same. Who will do this for the open source software you are planning to use? Sometimes there are open source companies like Red Hat or Novell, or services and integration companies like IBM or Accenture whom you can pay to do the integration. You might even be considering installing, integrating, and maintaining the software yourself. Make sure you have someone who knows the open source technology and can integrate it correctly with the rest of your infrastructure.
      8. Depending on your organization and its rules about what software can be used, you may need to check off that the open source software is certified for your hardware. Learn whether that is done by the software or hardware provider. Depending on where your open source code is coming from, you may need to reconsider any ironclad rule about certification, if you decide use of the code is critical. Your internal process for such an exception will need to be adjusted accordingly.
      9. Once that open source software is sitting in your infrastructure, how are you going to manage it? Does the systems management software you are using now support the open source code? Does the open source software need to be extended in order to support management standards? Does the systems management software itself need to be augmented?
      10. If you are using no open source code strategically in your organization but you think you should consider using it, start with Linux. There are many highly motivated people, organizations, and companies that can help you integrate Linux into your IT world. Furthermore, it is mature technology with several first class distributions.

      The Whole Series

      Daily links for 06/14/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 06/10/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      10 considerations for maintaining open source in your organization

      At the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) this year I did a presentation called “Asking the hard questions about open source software.” Last week I expanded on one of the areas and discussed it in the blog entry “10 elements of open source governance in your organization.”

      Today I want to talk about maintaining open source once you’ve brought it into your IT infrastructure. Here’s the slide I used at OSBC:

      Who will maintain your installation of the software?

      • If you are planning for your IT staff to install and maintain your software, make sure it doesn’t get orphaned when you have personnel turnover.
      • When software updates come along, you will need a plan to decide which ones to install and when, especially if major releases come along every six months or so.
      • If you customize open source code for your organization, are you prepared to propagate those changes into newer versions of the code?

      So you’ve decided to use some open source code in your organization, company, or enterprise. What’s the same or different about maintaining open source versus traditional software. Here are ten things to consider:

      1. The term “maintenance” can be considered one component of “subscription, support, and maintenance” or it can be used more generally to mean “now that’ve I’ve installed this software, how do I make it do what I want, patched, and updated?”.
      2. When you outsource your datacenter, you pay to have others manage and maintain your hardware, software, data, network, and so forth. When you do it yourself, obviously you are responsible for keeping everything running correctly. You need to ensure that your staff has the skills and the resources to keep your systems going 24/7 or at least as much as you need them. For open source, they need the skills to keep the software running and they need to know where to look or who to call when there is something they cannot handle.
      3. You probably use more open source software than you realize. Many software products from IBM, for example, include open source code from Apache, Eclipse, and other projects. Your maintenance plan for this software can therefore come from your software vendor, if that is your common practice. It’s business as usual.
      4. Similarly, if you have obtained a “pure” open source “product” from a commercial company such as Red Hat, Novell, or SugarCRM, you can purchase a subscription, support, and maintenance contract from them. Partners of such open source companies may also distribute and provide first or second line support. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting and from whom.
      5. “Open source software” is often too simple a phrase to describe the range of what it means. For example, it is much easier to maintain a straightforward 1000 line piece of open source code than a multimillion line project with many installation options and configuration settings. Therefore you need to understand the quality and complexity of the code you are thinking of maintaining for your organization. It might be trivial or it might be impossible for you to do it yourself. The word “impossible” should not be used near the phrase “mission critical.”
      6. If you bring software into your organization and then make significant changes to it, do you expect someone else to be able to fix it when something goes wrong? I discussed this earlier in the blog entry “On highly customizing that open source code.” Let me summarize by saying you should either 1) not make massive changes, or 2) if you do, contribute them back to the community so that your modifications (presumably improvements?) get incorporated into the project. It will make it easier for you to use newer versions and others will benefit from your work, just as you benefited from theirs.
      7. Be honest about your organization’s ability to maintain the code yourself. If you have the right people with the right skills, it could be a real win for you. If you don’t, or your people don’t have the ability to fix everything necessary, it could be a disaster.
      8. Your people may have the skills today, but will those people work for you tomorrow? Invest in training and pay attention to ensuring continuity of your ability to maintain the software.
      9. For some software, many questions about installation and maintenance can be resolved with a good search engine. Before you install the software, try some searches to learn of others’ experience with it and how easily they got problems resolved.
      10. Look at the forums at the websites from which you are obtaining the software. Are they vibrant? Do questions get answered or is most of the time spent in flaming “noobs”? It’s a bad sign if relatively simple questions just sit there with no one responding to them. Conversely, if the community is really driven to help people start and keep using the software, the project has great documentation, and, most important, the software is well architected and mostly bug-free, your comfort level in maintaining it yourself should be higher.

      Let me summarize: know the scale and complexity of the open source software you plan to use; don’t get in over your head on maintaining mission critical, enterprise software; your least expensive option may be to pay for a maintenance contract from someone who deals with the software all day long, every day; and only maintain software yourself when it comes from helpful, dynamic communities that produce great code.


      The Whole Series

      Daily links for 06/08/2010

      IBM System z

      • “In recognition of the 10 year anniversary of Linux* on IBM System z*, Novell today announced customer adoption, open source product innovation and ISV and partner support of SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for IBM* System z. As the market leader for Linux on System z, Novell is the only operating system vendor to support Linux on IBM mainframe servers for its entire 10 year history and continues to capture market share with new customers and channel partners. Since 2000, when SUSE Linux Enterprise Server became the first commercially-available enterprise Linux distribution for IBM System z mainframes, Novell has delivered Linux-based mainframe solutions that customers across all industries can deploy to expand their critical applications and workloads.”

        tags: novell, linux, ibm, suse

      • “Free coffee is Barnes & Noble’s latest means of inducing customers to use its BN e-reader software in various devices, including the retailer’s own Nook, while inside its stores.

        During the limited promotion period, customers who show a Barnes & Noble cafe server an open e-book on any device running the BN software can get one free tall cup of coffee. The eligible devices include the Nook along with iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, BlackBerries or HTC HD2 devices and portable Mac or Windows computers.”

        tags: ebook, coffee

      • “Tony Hsieh built his online shoe retailer into an e-commerce powerhouse. But with credit tightening and investors eyeing the exits, Hsieh was forced to ask: Was selling Zappos really the only way to save it?”

        tags: zappos, retail, amazon

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 05/23/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 04/23/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Appliances and Linux

      A couple of days ago I posted a link to a video I made with Novell‘s Tom Crabb about appliances and the role of Linux in them. Here are a few additional comments.

      In your kitchen you have special appliances that, presumably, do individual things well. Your refrigerator keeps things cold,  your oven makes them hot, and your blender purees and liquifies them. There is room in a kitchen for each of these. They work individually but when you are making a meal they each have a role to play in creating the whole.

      You could go out and buy the metal, glass, wires, electrical gadgets, and so on that you would need to make each appliance but it is is faster, cheaper, and undoubtably safer to buy them already manufactured. For each device you have a choice of providers and you can pay more for additional features and quality.

      In the IT world it is far more common to buy the bits and pieces that make up a final solution. That is, you might separately order the hardware components, the operating system, and the applications, and then have someone put them all together for you. If you have an existing configuration you might add more blades or more storage devices.

      You don’t have to do this, however, in every situation. Just from a hardware perspective, you can buy a ready-made machine just waiting for the on switch to be flicked and the software installed. Conversely, you might get a pre-made software image with operating system and applications in place, ready to be provisioned to your choice of hardware. We can get even fancier in that the software image might be deployable onto a virtual machine and so be a ready made solution runnable on a cloud.

      Thus in the IT world we can talk about hardware-only appliances, software-only appliances (often called virtual software appliances), and complete hardware and software combinations. The last is most comparable to that refrigerator or oven in your kitchen.

      Appliances in the IT world are not new. Datapower, for example, goes back almost a decade with XML processing. There have also been appliances for security, search, spam detection and elimination, and many other specific applications. So we’re well past the pioneer stage, and now we’re focused on ease of creation, deployment, and value.

      Let’s focus on the virtual software appliances. Since the image is created to solve one class of problem, it really shouldn’t contain every possible feature in the operating system or possibly even in the applications that run on top of it. It should be just the right size and tuned for just the right use. This makes a simpler environment that takes up less room, is easier to maintain, and might be faster or more efficient.

      That means that if you had the ability to package just the parts of the operating system that you needed and dropped the rest, your custom appliance will fit your job better without extra stuff thrown in. Getting back to my kitchen analogy, if all you are going to do is make scrambled eggs, that $300 stove will work as well as the $5000 one. Why pay for or install the high end model if you aren’t going to use all the features?

      This is where Linux really shines when making virtual software appliances. Linux is composed of hundreds of packages and you can pick and choose among them to create just the base operating system you need. Now many of them are related, so you do need an understanding of which groups of packages you need to install to get the functionality you need. This can be done manually or more easily via a tool like Novell’s SUSE Studio. Either way, Linux gives you as little or as much as what you want to get the job done.

      Beyond the operating system, the applications deliver and define the appliance. IBM’s Lotus Foundations puts together functions like email, calendars, contacts, file sharing, and backup into one appliance. Moreover, since the whole idea of appliances is to give you just what you need, you can create and use a basic model today and perhaps later grow up to another more advanced version with more functions or capabilities for more users.

      An appliance might have one main application on top of the operating system or it may have several. If there is more than one, they need to work together and they need to interoperate with other software the user has on other machines. Open standards are therefore very important and should be on your appliance checklist when vetting your choices. Note that some people may start with appliances and then “grow up” into larger installations or, I expect, move to the cloud.

      Ultimately your datacenter may have several appliances in addition to more general purpose hardware and software. Think of your kitchen: it has a range of specialized devices as well as multifunction ones. Your needs and budget determine the mix, the quality, and the quantity.

      Pick and choose your appliances carefully. Focus on Linux as the operating system in the appliances because of its range of configurations, flexibility, security, performance, scalability, and general quality of service. Then worry about the applications, how they work together, and how well they employ open industry standards to plug into the rest of your critical infrastructure.

      My latest video: Novell, appliances, SUSE, microwaves, Linux

      Bob in the video While I was at Novell‘s BrainShare conference last month in Salt Lake City, I sat down with Tom Crabb, Novell’s Enablement Manager and recorded a video. The topic was IT appliances, specifically virtual software appliances. You can see it here on Novell’s website.

      Notes:

      1. I could have sworn I was smiling the entire time, but evidently I forgot to do so fairly frequently.
      2. Note how I cleverly worked in a discussion of microwaves.
      3. You can check out the Amazon Machine Images running IBM software here.

      Also see: “Appliances and Linux”

      Daily links for 03/30/2010

      Novell gecko

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Presentations: Still too hard to mix and match

      In a post last week I noted that the presentations I produced ten years ago were more complicated than those I made and used today. Many of the whiz-bang features in presentation software are just not things that I use, such as transitions, sound, and animations. My slides end up in PDF more often that not.

      Here’s one thing I really expected we would have licked by now: much better facilities for mixing and matching slides from existing presentations so that new ones could be created.

      There are several possible levels to this:

      1. Slide import without screwing up or deleting content
      2. Slide import that actually tries to make things work in the new template, with decent results
      3. An interactive learning mode that guides the transition of slides from the old formats to the new

      I’m usually thankful if I get the first, giddy with the second, and the third is science fiction as far as I’m concerned.

      Assuming that we get the slide import problem fixed some day, there’s something else I really want. Imagine a general slide deck where most of the deck is useful to any audience. Some of the pages, however, need to have alternate forms such as products discussed, partners mentioned, customers referenced, and geographies discussed.

      This is really a higher form of template where the “build” allows you to slide in the different versions of slides. In my case, for example, I could create a deck where the customer references were all from Asia Pacific and equally used Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell.

      To do this, I would need to understand where in the presentation the variations could occur. Then I need to have each set of versions have similar formatting and be constructed as easily as possible. Maybe something like mail-merge could work for the graphics and slide contents?

      Each of the versions should be tagged or categorized so it would be easy to see which are the possibilities for each variable spot in the deck. Essentially, I would have a library of slides or slide data with some semantic tagging. This library needed to be maintained with slides or data added, deleted, or retagged.

      Once I had this, I would expect a really nice deck building user interface to glue together the pieces for me.

      So here is my challenge, particularly to those who are using ODF, the OpenDocument Format, and the ODF Toolkit: build all this. Forget for the moment about the presentation software, but rather the information on the slides, how to categorize the pieces, where the variable content is, and how the deck can be visually and semi-automatically constructed.

      This last week someone on Facebook was bemoaning that he was turning 40 and yet we still didn’t have jetpacks. This presentation stuff isn’t rocket science, but we really should be much further along by now, in my opinion.

      Also see:

      Daily links for 03/23/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      “Linux as a Catalyst for a Smarter Planet” at Novell BrainShare

      On Tuesday morning, March 23, at 10:30 in Salt Lake City, Jean Staten Healy and I will be presenting a talk called “Linux as a Catalyst for a Smarter Planet” at Novell’s BrainShare conference. The talk is coded as SPR201 and will be in room 150 G.

      Smarter Planet graphic

      Here’s the abstract:

      Our world is going through a massive transformation, as computers are embedded into everything from cars to power grids, all these devices are then interconnected through the Internet, and the massive amounts of data are analyzed and can be turned into knowledge and insight. This transformation is turning our world into a smarter planet, and with this knowledge we can reduce cost and waste, improve efficiency and productivity, and raise the quality of everything from our products, to our companies, to our cities, to our world. Linux is a major catalyst for a Smarter Planet, because unlike other operating systems it is cross-platform and can run everything from embedded processors, to the routers which power the Internet, to the supercomputers which analyze the data in real time. This presentation will discuss the potential of smarter cities, smarter healthcare, and smarter retailing; the role of Linux as a technology enabler in these systems; and the case studies and business results already being realized by governments and companies around the world who are helping transform our smarter planet.

      If you are at the conference please stop by to see the talk or at least say hello. See you there!

      Daily links for 03/09/2010

      • “Filling a position left open since 2008, former Novell CTO Jeffrey Jaffe has taken on the role of chief executive officer for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).”

        tags: novell, w3c

      • “Last year, as the physical economy withered, Second Life‘s economy blossomed, with user-to-user transactions topping $567 million in actual U.S. currency, a 65 percent jump over 2008. About 770,000 unique users made repeat visits to Second Life in December, and the users, known as residents, cashed out $55 million of their Second Life earnings last year, transferring that money to PayPal accounts.”

        tags: second-life, virtual-world

      • “HTML 5 aims to change all that. When it is finalized, the new standard will include tags and APIs for improved interactivity, multimedia, and localization. As experimental support for HTML 5 features has crept into the current crop of Web browsers, some developers have even begun voicing hope that this new, modernized HTML will free them from reliance on proprietary plug-ins such as Flash, QuickTime, and Silverlight.”

        tags: HTML

      • “ESPN had previously used the services of Move Networks, based in American Fork, Utah. But Move’s system required that customers download a special video player that uses Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, said John Kosner, senior vice president of ESPN Digital Media. The network wanted to make its site easier to use by moving to a supplier that used Adobe’s popular Flash software, which operates within the Web browser.”

        tags: baseball, espn, silverlight, microsoft

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 02/26/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Daily links for 02/24/2010

      • “Two areas where Thadani said he believes Red Hat‘s KVM-based virtualization currently has an advantage over VMware are price and application support. Exact costs depend on the number of hosts and machines being virtualized, as well as the operating systems concerned. However, using RHEV instead of VMware could result in between 40 percent and 80 percent costs savings, he claimed. Red Hat guarantees that, because RHEV is built from the same kernel as RHEL, any Linux application that runs on RHEL will also run in a RHEL virtual machine virtualized on RHEV. If it doesn’t run properly in this way, Thadani said Red Hat will provide support to fix it so that it does.”

        tags: vmware, red-hat, virtualization, kvm, rhev-h

      • Novell continues to push beyond the SUSE Linux market. Among the major moves: The company is beta testing Novell Cloud Security Service, which is scheduled for general availability in May or June, according to Novell sources attending the Parallels Summit in Miami. Here are the implications for hosting providers and cloud integrators.”

        tags: cloud, novell, security

      • “Here’s an interesting tutorial that we would like to share with you on Daily World Buzz. It was written by Jun Auza of TechSource from Bohol. It’s a simple step by step tutorial with screenshots of how to install Safari 4 and use it in your Ubuntu Linux OS.”

        tags: safari, ubuntu, linux, browser

      • “Userful Corporation, the world leader in multiseat Linux desktop virtualization, today announced that 30,000 schools worldwide have chosen Userful virtual desktops to reduce computing costs and improve computer-to-student ratios. Microsoft recently announced its own multi-seat solution, Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, seven years after Userful pioneered the technology on Linux back in 2002.  Another classic case of Linux vs. Windows, only this time Linux has the upper hand with Userful having already sold 750,000 seats.”

        tags: linux, desktop, virtualization

      • “During our conversation, I began thinking about what it would be like if someone designed a content management system in three dimensions. Think about how useful it would be to get all your company’s content laid out in front of you in a graphical view in which you could literally walk inside the system. How cool would that be?”

        tags: content-management, 3d, virtual-world

      • “While more cost-effective than physical marketing events, virtual events offer another huge advantage: detailed information. As opposed to physical events, where often the only lead data consists of business card content, virtual events enable marketers to track and evaluate every move of each attendee within the environment, resulting in highly qualified sales leads.”

        tags: marketing

      • “We keep using the web because we already know the answer to the why question — we use the web for destination sites, for locating information, online shopping, etc. etc. With a service that looks and acts like the world, the why question is more profound, and overwhelming. It’s why I believe an achievement system, or even an leveling ladder with experience points for exploring the world, creating content, and so on, is necessary. Not to turn Second Life into an MMO, but to give new users an activity structure that will inspire them to get the full breadth of Second Life and its possibilities.”

        tags: second-life, virtual-world

      • “And search won’t solve the what-to-do problem. The only solution is to connect newcomers with like-minded people. The best communication mechanism for Second Life is the oldest one on the planet: Word of mouth. You find out about things because your friends tell you about them.”

        tags: second-life, virtual-world

      • “When it comes to working on creative projects, even professional designers need a little help now and then. There’s no shortage of Web sites they can turn to for visual inspiration and advice. And, for the most part, civilians like me can take advantage of those very same resources. Whether I need specific technical instruction or just some good ideas, these five sites are where I turn to first.”

        tags: design

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Virtual Life with Linux: Standalone OpenSim on Ubuntu 9.10

      As a complement to my Life with Linux blog series, I’m introducing another series which explores what I can do in virtual worlds and immersive Internet environments on Linux.

      Last night I decided to play with OpenSim, aka OpenSimulator, which is, according to its website:

      OpenSimulator is a 3D Application Server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols. OpenSimulator allows you to develop your environment using the technologies you feel work best – we’ve designed the software to be easily extendable through loadable modules to build completely custom configurations. OpenSimulator is released under a BSD License, making it both open source, and commercially friendly to embed in products.

      I’ve fiddled with it before, but never really got something up and running very long. My new plan is experiment with opensim locally and then install it on my SliceHost account so I can access the virtual world regions from anywhere. My goals for last night were simple:

      1. Download and install OpenSim on my desktop running Ubuntu Linux 9.10 “Karmic Koala.”
      2. Create four regions arranged in a square and start them off with perfectly flat terrain. I planned to call the four regions Zeus, Hera, Athena, and Poseidon.

      Continue reading

      Daily links for 02/09/2010

      Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

      Linux Foundation Announces 2010 “We’re Linux” Video Contest

      After the great success of last year’s video contest, the Linux Foundation has announced this year’s competition:

      SAN FRANCISCO, February 5, 2010 – The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the 2010 “We’re Linux” video contest. The contest seeks to find the best user-generated videos that demonstrate what Linux means to those who use it and inspire others to try it.

      The contest is calling all community members and amateur filmmakers to share with the public what a 30-60 second Linux-focused spot for the Super Bowl might look like. This theme is not a requirement for entry; however, videos that can demonstrate the benefits of Linux to the general public are likely to receive more community votes. The submissions should aim to inspire people to use Linux, create conversations among the public, and convey the power and ideals of Linux.

      The judges are:

      • Andrew Morton, lead Linux kernel maintainer;
      • Stephen O’Grady, co-founder, Red Monk;
      • Stormy Peters, executive director, Gnome Foundation;
      • Brandon Phillips, Linux kernel developer, Novell;
      • Bob Sutor, VP, Open Source and Linux, IBM Software Group; and
      • Steven Vaughan-Nichols, journalist, ComputerWorld.

      It’s my understanding that the judges will be sequestered in some tropical paradise to thoughtfully decide this year’s winner, though I may be horribly mistaken.

      (I’m joking, unfortunately.)

      Daily Links for Tuesday, January 26, 2010

      Linux

      Novell Delivers First Integrated Toolkit for Building, Testing and Managing Software Appliances

      Novell today announced the availability of a suite of new tools that significantly reduces the time and cost for independent software vendors (ISVs) and enterprises to develop, deploy and manage software appliances. With the availability of the SUSE Appliance Toolkit, Novell now delivers the industry’s most complete and integrated solution for building, testing, updating and configuring software appliances across physical, virtual and cloud environments. The Toolkit features an onsite version of Novell’s innovative appliance-building solution SUSE Studio and new management tools that enable ISVs and enterprises to reduce software development time, installation cycles and maintenance costs.

      Linux Foundation to World: Get a Job!
      ITworld

      Now, this week, the LF is expanding another program: their online and on-site training for Linux professionals. This expansion is primarily in the form of a new free webinar series that will kick off on March 1 with Jon Corbet’s “How to Contribute to the Linux Community” seminar. This is not a new presentation, as many attendees of Corbet’s programs at various Linux events can attest. What is new is the fact that anyone who signs up for the webinar will be able to watch it free of charge.

      Hardware

      HP shows off its slate computer while revealing a key disappointing detail (Windows)
      CrunchGear / Matt Burns

      But this slate is plagued by the same fundamental flaw as the vast majority of the current tablets: Windows. Phil states that the device will run plain-jane Windows 7. That’s a problem because even Windows 7 with its added touchscreen capabilities is not suited for extended tablet use without a stylus and Apple/Palm/RIM/HTC has proven to the world that we don’t need styluses.

      Daily Links for Monday, January 11, 2010

      Open Source

      Novell lose[s] Open Source CTSO as Nat Friedman leaves
      The H Open Source: News and Features

      Nat Friedman, co-founder of Ximian and Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Open Source at Novell has announced in a blog posting that he has quit. Friedman, who co-founded Ximinan with Miguel de Icaza in 1999, joined Novell in 2003 when the company acquired Ximian. Since then he has headed up Novell’s open source strategy

      A Few Resources for Women in Open Source
      ITworld / Esther Schindler

      When I first started programming in high school at age 15 (on a mainframe), I was one of only two or three girls in the class of perhaps 20 students. At the time, I thought that was a pretty good ratio. God knows that I never lacked for a date. Ever since then, however, I’ve been doing my best to encourage more women to get into the field. Not because I believe that the computer industry arbitrarily needs to have a one-to-one ratio, but because I love computing so very much and I want to share that excitement. My enthusiasm extends to the open source community as well.

      Games

      LEGO Universe – colorful plastic’s answer to World of Warcraft – is the brainchild of Colorado-based NetDevil
      Denver News

      In this sprawling realm of bricks and minifigs, hundreds of thousands of players will get to explore moon bases and castles and many other subjects covered by LEGO toys over the years, taking on massing forces of chaos and destruction

      Daily Links for Thursday, January 7, 2010 – Afternoon Edition

      Linux

      MSI Ships First Netbook Powered By SUSE Moblin From Novell
      Novell, Inc.

      Addressing the growing demand for lightweight, mobile netbook devices, MSI and Novell today announced the upcoming availability of SUSE® Moblin preloaded on the MSI U135 netbook. Following the recent release of Moblin(TM) version 2.1, this marks the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to sell a fully-supported Intel® Atom processor-based netbook running Moblin-based technology to consumers.

      The next generation of Linux notebooks arrives at CES
      ComputerWorld / Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

      The major computer vendors are once more embracing Linux as HP and Lenovo both announce models with desktop Linux pre-installed and rumor is there’s more to come.

      How (and Why) to Partition Your Hard Drive – washingtonpost.com
      The Washington Post / Patrick Miller, PC World

      Finally, partitioning lets you try out other operating systems–like Linux, for example. Generally, two operating systems can’t coexist on the same volume without stepping on one another’s toes, so you won’t be able to dual-boot Linux or ease into Windows 7 if you’re on a single-volume system.