linux

Book review: Linux Administration Handbook Second Edition by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein, et al

In my geek career, I have been many things: DBA, programmer, help-desk, engineer, systems administrator. I have worked with VMS, MS-DOS, various flavors of UNIX, MS-Windows of all sorts, OS/2, and MPE/iX. I have had a wide and various and satisfying career.

I can tell you without reservation, systems administration was the hardest and most demanding of all those jobs.

What’s a newbie to do?

Many more people are becoming interested in GNU/Linux, as even seasoned Microsoft users and advocates are beginning to question the issues surrounding the latest operating system from Redmond. The variety of GNU/Linux distributions, while a good thing, can make a difficult time for a user, especially a new user. There are many desktop and server distributions, such as Red Hat, SUSE, Debian and Fedora. There are also many derivatives, like CentOS, Ubuntu and Mepis, as well as specialized distributions like Knoppix, DSL and Knoppmyth.

Linux may be taking the desktop—but has it stalled before the workplace?

I was at a friend's office last week. Roger (my friend) has a computer training facility, and training rooms for hire in Perth, Australia (where I live). They have all kinds of courses there all the time, and in the course of conversation I asked if they do much Linux training there, because that would be something I would be interested in doing with my staff.

Configuring a Linux home internet gateway

My family is hooked on Windows. I’ve thought about trying to coerce them into switching to GNU/Linux, but the very thought of what I’d have to put up with for the next year just makes my head ache. I’m not talking about software maintenance issues. I’m talking about trying to defend my position time and time again as they complain that they can’t run their favorite games or applications. Telling them to change their favorites is like spitting into the wind—it’s sort of masochistic.

Of virtual machines and gained productivity - and hardware

I spend most of my time doing Web programming - basically, tinkering and cleaning up some professional websites that require maximum accessibility, and efficient coding while remaining very simple. This needs XHTML+CSS+ECMAscript and some PHP glue; and while I have no problem running a LAMP test server on my main machine, up until now I needed a spare machine just to do testing under Windows.

Not anymore.

(Revised: some typos, missing brackets, and an 'extra' on kqemu configuration)

Jim Kent, hero of free and open source software

Percy Shelly averred that poets were the unacknowledged legislators of the world. That was a hope rather than a fact. It might have been true in earlier centuries but the inexorable rise of scientific methodology relegated it as a source of power and influence. Inevitably, the baton passed to science.

Do me a favor, don't try Linux

Recently, there seems to be an abundance of articles on failed Linux evaluations in corporate environments. Most of them point out why Linux didn't make the grade for one reason or another. As Linux becomes more of a viable option for desktop deployment, I suspect we will see more of these types of articles. I, however, am not too sure they are all that enlightening.

Are you serious?

Book review: Embedded Linux Primer by Christopher Hallinan

Embedded Linux sits in telephones, cookers, cars, and best of all in my camera and wireless router. I have no real idea of how many pieces of hardware sit under Linux’s careful and motherly control, but it must be quite dominant and I’m sure would easily be in the hundreds of millions and yes, I hear you shout that I underestimate.

Book review: Self service Linux by Mark Wilding, Dan Behman

Linux is by reputation and in reality a highly stable platform. Being free software means that you can see its inner actions without the lead coat of proprietary license shielding. Problem determination with transparent source, if mastered within the Linux environment, enables the problem solver to focus efficiently on the issues at hand. New administrators tend to take longer to solve the more horribly tricky and very infrequent issues than those that have burnt their wizened fingers on the obtuse over the course of long years.

Book review: Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two Bill von Hagen and Brian K. Jones

I’ve been reading through this book for a few days now. It has some good tips and it is very well written. But that is not what attracts me to O’Reilly’s “hacks” series. No, the truth is that I consider these books to be valuable treasure!

Book review: How Linux Works by Brian Ward

Ok, so you are a Linux user or a power user. The question then is what does it take to become a valid, omnipotent, root-enabled superuser? One potential answer is read the book How Linux Works, by Brian Ward and published by No Starch Press, by the last word of the last chapter you may or may not have been transformed, a wizard waiting to be born.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Inside the mind of the enemy: the business analyst

For those who don't interact with the business world, there are a classification of middle management assistants called the 'business analyst'. These analysts help middle management hobble along, either directly or through some widely read newspaper or magazine or website by telling bosses what the future of their industry is. They are our enemy.

They predict the future through a combination of careful wording, stating the obvious in an interesting way, voodoo magic, and rubber chickens. Most people don't take stock into what most business analysts say, but the atypical pointy haired boss will buy right into what they say.

Views on the GPLv3 hoo-har

There has been a lot of hoo-hah recently regarding the pros and cons of certain aspects of the drafts of Version 3 of the GNU General Public License from the Free Software Foundation. The originator of the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds himself, is playing a role here. Unfortunately, each side has taken to the ploy of misrepresenting the other’s points. Arguments are getting heated to such an extent that you need to wear an asbestos suit just to look at the issues. However, on examination, not only do I find that both sides have valid issues but I also believe an obvious solution exists that will make most, if not all, satisfied and the world a less flame-ridden obstacle course.

Book review: The Linux® Kernel Primer: A Top-Down Approach for x86 and PowerPC Architectures

The Linux Kernel Primer is a top down, C biased, project orientated story of how the Linux kernel works. With a little knowledge of C and a rough understanding of Linux basics, this book will lead you to a clear understanding of the kernel.

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