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Book Review: The Linux Enterprise Cluster - Understanding methods without live answering service
The Linux Enterprise Cluster is a well written book published by No Starch Press that describes in detail how to create a cluster (a group of machines that behave as if they were a single computer) of Linux boxes. It also explains creating high availability servers using Heartbeat and covers many other topics relating to availability and performance.

( Permalink: Book Review: The Linux Enterprise Cluster - Understanding methods without live answering service      Submitted by Noel Wed Aug 24, 2005 )

My Text Problem
With emacs, vi, pico, and the TextEdit that comes with Mac OS X why would anyone need any more editors?

The list of editors may seem strange but that is actually what I use to do most if not all of my text editing. I use emacs to write code or to do heavy editing, I use vi for quick file changes, pico is what pine fires up for editing an email, and I write most of my articles using TextEdit. I used to use emacs for the articles but somehow drifted away from it without any planning being involved.

I started with emacs but it did not come on Solaris 2.6 or AIX and so I had to use vi every once in a while. I don't really like vi so it never became my editor of choice. Pico is just there. And really I can't think of any excuse for TextEdit. Now that I think of it, most of my text by word count was written inside a web browser in a form.

There you go, "Hi my name is Noel and I wrote this in a text entry box in a form on my web browser". Is there a twelve step plan for my text problem?

( Permalink: My Text Problem      Submitted by Noel Wed Aug 24, 2005 )

Avoid the Cost of New Hardware through Emulation
This article introduces PowerPC emulation and cross-compiling for developers without access to real hardware. It is intended for developers familiar with computer architecture who own an x86-based workstation but are interested in experimenting with PowerPC.

( Permalink: Avoid the Cost of New Hardware through Emulation      Submitted by Anonymous Wed Aug 24, 2005 )

Underground Desktop Review
Sounds a little rough around the edges, but then its aimed at being cutting edge.
"Underground Desktop is a GNU/Linux distribution, based on Debian-unstable, that touts itself as being fast and easy to install. Certainly, it attains the former goal better than many distributions, but this beta software remains very rough around the edges."
Review: Underground Desktop

( Permalink: Underground Desktop Review      Submitted by Noel Wed Aug 24, 2005 )

Overview of Xgrid in Tiger
Xgrid is one of those things that makes me want to play with it even though I can't off the top of my head come up with anything that I really need to do with it. I am not creating rendered movies or even doing computationally research, but boy it sounds like a cool toy.
"The next piece of the Xgrid puzzle is the controller. Because most of us do not run Mac OS X Server, I am going to take you through setting up an Xgrid controller on the client version of Mac OS X Tiger. Apple hasn't gone out of its way to make setting up this controller obvious, but it can be accomplished with a few well-chosen commands in Terminal. If the command line is completely alien to you, you might consider using XgridLite, which achieves the same end result with a more user-friendly graphical interface."
Distributed Tiger: Xgrid Comes of Age

( Permalink: Overview of Xgrid in Tiger      Submitted by Noel Wed Aug 24, 2005 )

Thanks Aaron Seigo
Its people like Aaron Seigo that help make all of the free software so wonderful. Next time you fire up your box and look at KDE or any other piece of software be thankful to all the people that wrote it, and those that fix its bugs.
"Yeah, well I mean, it's funny. Software developers... creating something new is dramatically exciting. There's no end of people who have ideas for new features or new applications, but oftentimes it's harder, the trickier, more boring stuff that doesn't always get addressed. Yeah, I've spent days sometimes looking for annoying, nasty little bugs. It's not the sexiest work in the world, but it's rewarding..."
Interview with Aaron Seigo

( Permalink: Thanks Aaron Seigo      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 23, 2005 )

Templating with PHP
"Whether you design websites for a living or just for fun, PHP can be a powerful tool. For those unfamiliar with it, PHP is a programming language that has made its mark primarily as a scripting tool for generating dynamic Web content. In addition to its ability to create interactive Web pages, PHP can be a useful time-saver when used to create a templating system for websites."

( Permalink: Templating with PHP      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 23, 2005 )

Unix Weblog Hacks
Following on from the earlier articles "An Introduction to m4" and "Unix Web Hacks", the latest piece on Linux, Unix, /etc/ is Unix Weblog Hacks; or, how to write your own weblog software, in one baffling lesson.

( Permalink: Unix Weblog Hacks      Submitted by Paul Dunne Tue Aug 23, 2005 )

A piece of CherryPy for CGI programmers
CherryPy uses the same concepts as CGI to bind a Web server to a Web application, but it improves performance and gains persistence across requests by handling all its requests within a single process. Find out how to write Web applications with CherryPy, an application framework for Python that makes Web applications easier to write than plain CGI.

( Permalink: A piece of CherryPy for CGI programmers      Submitted by Anonymous Tue Aug 23, 2005 )

Omnioutliner was just one of those applications that Apple stuck on my Powerbook until I started reading some articles about using it. Soon I had not only given it a try but I had upgraded to the latest version. Its a great outliner. It is sort of a outliner combined with a spreadsheet.

No idea what you might use it for, but it has several todo lists and is going to be central in my plans to get some things done.

Give it a try you will like it.

"Then I hit the Info button and realized I could specify column types, summaries, outline types, alternate row colors, hide/expose the checkbox, and more. I also realized that the color wheel which I thought was so cool in Omnigraffle (with the ability to drag a color swatch on something to change it's color) appears to be a universal Mac thing, or at least Omnigraffle also supports it (maybe it's a OmniGroup thing). You can also alter the outline text itself since it's RTF. How cool is that? Maybe Mac users take it for granted, but us switchers are used the the tree view always being plain text (and isn't an outline basically a tree view)?"
Double Take on OmniOutliner

( Permalink: Omnioutliner      Submitted by Noel Tue Aug 23, 2005 )

The SoulPad Project
Interesting read over on Linux Devices. The Soulpad project aims to allow users to carry their operating system from machine to machine with them on a USB drive or some other form of storage. It's an interesting approach to the problem of mobile computing.

Its my opinion in the long run we are not going to be tied to any PC. However I think its more likely to be Internet applications that drive most of the solution rather than mobile devices. More and more of my tasks are being done through a browser and an online server. You can even do your taxes online with Turbo Tax for the Web.

"After Knoppix mounts the encrypted filesystem and finishes booting, it launches a virtual machine monitor layer that serves as a platform from which the user's chosen operating system (OS) loads. In the SoulPad prototype, this layer is based on VMware Workstation, a commercial software package that virtualizes a PC's hardware resources, allowing multiple OSes to run concurrently. SoulPad users can choose to run Linux, Windows, or other OSes supported by VMware as the OS platform (the "Guest OS") for their application software."
IBM decouples PC souls from bodies

( Permalink: The SoulPad Project      Submitted by Noel Mon Aug 22, 2005 )

ClamXav: Clam AntiVirus for Macs
Two points: one I am not convinced I need to run antivirus software on my Mac and two every time you add something like this to a system you add some risk. A case in point is the security notice that is out for clamav.
"ClamXav is a free virus checker for Mac OS X. It uses the very popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine to scan mail and attachments. As a testament to its effectiveness, Apple now bundles ClamAV with Mac OS X Server 10.4. Unfortunately for those who are not system administrators, ClamAV is a command line tool, so it isn't user-friendly for the average Mac owner. That's why Mark Allan developed ClamXav. It uses the powerful ClamAV engine and definitions, but adds a more accessible user interface. This article explains how to use ClamXav, and it includes an interview with its developer, Mark Allan."
What Is ClamXav (and do Mac users really need antivirus?)

( Permalink: ClamXav: Clam AntiVirus for Macs      Submitted by Noel Mon Aug 22, 2005 )

Fixing Bugs
There is some good information in this essay, but my favorite part was the ten worst ways to decide what bug to fix.
"This two-part essay is a primer on those rules and survival kits, giving you basics to follow. But more importantly, I'll provide the core ideas needed to make your own rules. The advice is organized into four levels, from scrappy first aid (level 1) to higher-caliber planning (level 4). But first, an entirely unnecessary but entertaining summary of approaches to avoid."
How to Decide What Bugs to Fix When, Part 1

( Permalink: Fixing Bugs      Submitted by Noel Mon Aug 22, 2005 )

Tutorial: Running a web-/mail server with Fedora C
This tutorial gives detailed instructions about how to install and configure a web- and mail server with Fedora Core 3. Every single step is explained with the help of 29 screenshots which allows even Linux newbies to follow this guide, but experienced Linux users will benefit from it as well.
You will end up with a system with the following features:

( Permalink: Tutorial: Running a web-/mail server with Fedora C      Submitted by Falko Timme Mon Aug 22, 2005 )

Looking at Real Time for Linux, PowerPC, and Cell
A great philosopher once said, "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so." What about real time? Specifically, what about Linux and real time? Paul McKenney of IBM discusses processors, computer history, time slices, games, physics, and Linux.

( Permalink: Looking at Real Time for Linux, PowerPC, and Cell      Submitted by Anonymous Mon Aug 22, 2005 )

Featured Articles:
Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

Expect and SSH

The Linux Enterprise Cluster

Book Review: Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide

Remote Backups With Rsync

Weakness and Security

Essential CVS

Spring Into Technical Writing

Other News:
Biodiesel Resources

Older News

Testing and Building with the New gumstix SBCs
(Fri May 27, 2005)

Virtualization: From the Desktop to the Enterprise
(Fri May 27, 2005)

Dual-Core Opterons Running Linux
(Thu May 26, 2005)

Sentry CD - A different firewall approach
(Thu May 26, 2005)

Three tools to help you configure iptables
(Thu May 26, 2005)

Linux, outside the (x86) box
(Thu May 26, 2005)

Password Management
(Wed May 25, 2005)

Collection of Application Crash Data With DTrace
(Wed May 25, 2005)

Use IMAP with Perl, Part 2
(Wed May 25, 2005)

Moodle: An open source learning management system
(Wed May 25, 2005)

Secure and Private Browsing with Squid
(Tue May 24, 2005)

HUMOR: Linux Can Make You Cool
(Tue May 24, 2005)

How LDAP works best with J2EE and EJBs
(Tue May 24, 2005)

Application optimization with compilers for Linux
(Tue May 24, 2005)

JAXP makes XML manageable for Java
(Tue May 24, 2005)

MySQL Tips
(Mon May 23, 2005)

OpenBSD 3.7: The Wizard of OS
(Mon May 23, 2005)

Mozilla and Firefox Flaws
(Mon May 23, 2005)

Interview with Will Stephenson
(Mon May 23, 2005)

What the Linux Desktop Needs
(Mon May 23, 2005)

Interview With KDE-PIM Hacker Till Adam
(Fri May 20, 2005)

Managing your money with Grisbi
(Fri May 20, 2005)

Access Windows and Mac OS X from Linux
(Fri May 20, 2005)

Create a Kuro-based Web album
(Fri May 20, 2005)

First look: F-Spot
(Fri May 20, 2005)

Insider Threats
(Thu May 19, 2005)

Introduction to Free Pascal 2.0
(Thu May 19, 2005)

Opera and Firefox: A side-by-side review
(Thu May 19, 2005)

Geronimo! Part 1: The J2EE 1.4 engine that could
(Thu May 19, 2005)

Linux in Italian Schools
(Wed May 18, 2005)

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Copyright 1999-2005 Noel Davis. Noel also runs web sites about sailing and kayaking.
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