Charting your log data lately?

I came across this cool howTo over at Linux Planet that shows an example of how to easily create graphs of log data.  The article gives a good pratical example of pulling some data on TLD’s that have bounced bad e-mail.  The tool he uses is python with a graphing library that can do output as HTML or several other formats.  It’s a great easy way to show people when problems are happening.  

Episode 36 – Novell is finally bought and other news…

Baracus…Novell’s latest Open Source Tool…

Novell announced this week that it’s bringing out a new Provisioning tool.  The tool named Baracus is supposedly able to provision servers with all your favorite flavors of linux both Deb and RPM based.  It works with bear metal and the top Virutalization products.  The current release runs on either SLES or OpenSuse.  It is also currently only capable of being run from the command line.  Coming in Mid-Jan of 2011 is a REST interface which will probably mean a bunch of web interfaces by the end of next year.  The other significant part to this is that they are using Postgres for the database and claim that it will be nearly a black box.  I do have to wonder what this means for ZenWorks?  It may explain why Open Suse seems to have abandon Zenworks. 

OpenSource telepresence coming from Cisco July 1, 2010…

Having used Tandberg’s hardware/software combination at work I have to say the technology is very cool and extremely useful.  On completing the deal to complete it’s buyout of Tandberg, Cisco stated it would open source the libraries for the TIP protocol, according to Computer Weekly.  This will allow anyone, opensource or not, the ability to create hardware and software solutions based on it.  So it’s feasible that your next upgrade to telepresence will be cheaper since you would only have to pay for the hardware.

So imagine you could have a complete phone soution from Asterisk that is opensource.  Now you will be able to call up your friends and start a video confrencing meeting without ever leaving your night clothes.  It levels the field for small companies needing to do telepresence to seel their products.   

Need a quick pick me up for a slowing application?

If the application you are having problems with does a lot of reading and writing to files a quick fix might be to use a RAM based file system.  Yes that precious RAM we all love to have for our apps might be better spent creating a temporary file system.  If you then copy the often written to application files onto this RAM based file system you should see tremendous performance increases.  With systems running the Core i7 architecture the boost could be even higher because of the higher RAM speeds and lower latency between the CPU and the chips.  The only way to find out though is to give it a try.  To do that you will need a RAM Disk of some kind.  I found this how to over at Linux Mag that should be a good starting point.  While I haven’t done these exact instructions, I have done this before and they seem to be correct.  As with anything though your mileage may very.  Test your solution thoroughly before implementing this in a production environment.  Remember you are dealing with RAM and if you have to reboot anything not saved off from that RAM Disk will be lost.

If Linux just did it would be ready for Prime Time

While surfing around looking for stories I came across this article on The ERACC Web Log.  The story is talking about how to many authors are writing articles about how Linux needs to just solve <insert thing that doesn’t work to their expectation> and it will be ready for prime time.  He makes a lot of good points in the article about how very often these “issues” preventing Linux from taking over has little to do with the topics in most articles.

One of the next links I clicked on happen to be a great example of the problem he points out in a recent article found here on the Tom’s Hardware Website.  The article is written by an ex-Microsfot Employee and converted closed source programmer by the name of Keith Curtis.  He thinks the reason Linux isn’t ready for Prime Time becuase Linux is missing hardware drivers.  His real gripe is with the hardware makers not the linux community for most of the article.  What’s obvious from the article is that he rarely, if ever, builds a system from scratch and then try to install Windows of any version on that machine.  If he did he would realize that the reality is that just because a driver is available doesn’t mean it works as advertised.   

I recently purchased a new Dell computer for my wife.  When I went to add her new computer to our LAN the older Linksys Wireless G network card that I had in her previous computer was not recognized by Windows 7.  I had to login to a different computer and grab the Windows Vista driver, because there were no Windows 7 drivers.  This got the machine connected to the internet.  I solved the problem but had it been most of my non-technical friends and family they would have been unable to use the wireless network.  So since Cisco doesn’t offer drivers for Windows 7 then why are we amazed when they don’t offer them for Linux?  

No OS is perfect and the Linux is no exception.  People seem to be forgetting that companies like IBM, Sun and HP have spent more of their lives as companies running on proprietary hardware with almost no support for third party hardware.  They built successful and profitable Unix based products without good driver support from vendors.

Linux Consultants = Maytag Repair People

The Tech Republic has one of the most awesome articles I have read in a long time.  The main theme of the article is that Linux Consultants, unlike Windows Consultants, are like Maytag repair people.  As a former consultant supporting both Linux and other *nix versions I have to say this is so true.  My largest problem was convincing my remotely hosted customers was getting them to upgrade the hardware they were on and doing major updates to the Linux and the LAMP stack.  While this is amazing for customers it means that Linux consultants have to have larger groups of customers and can take on larger numbers of customers than their Windows counterparts.

Windows Admin’s try not to be haters…..Linux admins just have it better on this front.  The article is well written and funny and a fun way to start off your Friday.(or any day for that matter)