Ubuntu 9.10 oops!

This post will probably be a little more negative then the one I lost when my system just seized up and crashed.

Honestly to sum things up, I am having far more instability issues with the final release of Ubuntu 9.10 then I had with the final Alpha release I ran until the final came out.

I get repeated kernel oops crashes etc as my system resumes from suspend. After updating my system today my system froze and ultimately lost my first attempt at this post.

We really need to work on finding the sweet spot for releasing and building distros. We have not arrived yet.

I have watched my wireless go from stable in 7.10 to sluggish and unusable the next two releases and I thought finally fixed in 9.04. The regressions happen too much. This is unacceptable for production level systems.

There has to be a way to keep something stable yet incorporate new innovations in a timely manner. As I said we just have not found that sweet spot yet.

I think it would do us all some good to be realistic about where Linux as a desktop is rather then trying to speak excellence in to existence lets do more to make it a reality. The things that I tolerate with my Linux desktops would have put Microsoft out of business 10 years ago. That’s one of the weaknesses the Linux desktop still has. We seem to have given up on being honest about progress and resorted to saying we have arrived and that Linux blows away Windows etc. etc.

We need to stop talking out both sides of our neck.

When I started discussing some of these issues over the last year in forums and such, I was rebuked with answers ranging from “what do you expect it’s free” to “Windows is worse”. I have to say I can work for hours at a time in Windows without having media playback issues and the issues I reported here today.

I want to help make things better but I am at a state of learning in coding still so there doesn’t seem to be any projects out there willing to mentor a newbie or at least give concrete ansers to what I can do at my level of experience.

I know one thing until we admit where we fall short things will never get better. You know that whole thing about having to admit you have a problem before you can get real help.

Let’s start Linux Anonymous let’s be realist for a change.

Thanks for listening

Stanford CS Youtube videos, an idea…

I had an idea concerning the online Stanford CS courses. Since I will never be able to attend Stanford for a CS degree I was thinking about assembling a group of cyber friends that have the similar goals concerning programming and Computer Science education. And like myself don’t have the means to physically attend.

Maybe we could start a message board and schedule class times or goals around assignments etc. We could converse regularly and help one another out and take advantage of the group setting even if it is over the internet.

Just a though. Drop me a comment or an email if you’d like to discuss further.

jryanitpro@gmail.com

Hope to hear from you!!!

Ubuntu final flash issues!

I finally was able to install Ubuntu 9.10 today final. I was interested to see if the Ubuntu One error was gone and it was.

It seems that I had trouble installing the flash non-free plug-in though.

I installed it from Adobes redirect in Firefox, restarted the browser and nothing. I then tried installing flash from within the new software center and again after installing adobe flash plug-in and restarting, it did not work.

My last option was to install the restricted extras package and woala it works!

Just a friendly suggestion maybe we can just install the restricted extras by default when installing flash. At the very least the install failures I received will be discouraging to new users and will also have the trolls attacking Ubuntu/Linux saying we can’t get even something so simple solved still.

Al the seeming successful install that did not work for me went off wothout a hitch and lead me to believe everything went fine. Too many options and especially when they do not work will only make the world question can Linux ever get it right on the desktop. Why does it seem that we get something solved only to have it reveal it self in another bug or use case.

Believe me I want Linux to succeed and I plan to help wherever I can I just have not been able to get assimilated in to a project to help yet.

I’ll keep you all updated

As I said in the previous blog Ubuntu has done some real special things in this release in spite of flash install issues I had.

Joe

Ubuntu 9.10, Awesome!

I have to say this current offering of Ubuntu is very impressive.

To name a few items I’m most impressed with would probably do little justice to how far Ubuntu has come.

1.The boot time and overall look of the graphical boot.
2.OpenOffice opens very quickly when opening a document, presentation etc.
3.UbuntuOne service is just what I have been looking for since I seem to lose my USB storage very often.
4.The system overall is very snappy.

Oh did I mention this is the last alpha release I’ve been using, so it isn’t even the final!

With that being said there is a few bugs I have ran across
1.UbuntuOne began last night to show an error concerning a “capabilities mismatch”. Not sure what the issue is yet.
2.I believe Windows shutdown improperly and since I have had a grub2 boot error that will not go away. I have to delete a certain boot parameter to get Ubuntu to finish booting. I did some investigating and noticed that there were bug reports filed but the status seemed to be up in the air currently. It is probably fixed in the final bits anyway.

Keep up the good work Canonical and community!!!

Now if I could only find a project that is looking for a new programmer I could really help out aw well!

My brain storming on the Desktop of the future…

Desktop abstraction idea.

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My idea simply is to use the 3d capabilities of modern processors and operating systems to make the idea of the desktop expand to a more usable less confined workspace. Think of the desktop work areas replacing or becoming an ordinary part of desktop icons allowing users to see there work areas as tunnels. This allows the illusion of items closer to the surface being larger etc and possibly alleviating the cluttered look to current desktops.

 

To think more precisely of this abstraction would lend itself to being almost workspace like. The work-spaces that have been used in Unix and Linux for years and to some extent third-party Windows add-ons.

 

The idea could go further and sort of use the virtual views that are used in Second Life and game applications. Where a user could literally navigate to their “file cabinet” in their office “workspace” and physically work in the environment as playing a game.

The collaboration needed between applications and such could bring endless ideas and possibilities to the desktop abstraction.

 

This also brings a new visual futuristic approach to computing seeming to only be taken advantage of by game programmers and designers. The ideas for users of various handicaps could be endless as well as the navigation doesn’t involve so much “digging” in and out of items or icons that you are looking for.

 

Obviously something of this level of interaction would be a monumental undertaking but could ultimately bring computing to the next level and move us away from the current eye-candy war being fought by designers and technologists alike at this time. The future is Virtual Desktop Rooms, OS domains on the client. That will at times integrate very well with the distributed nature (think internet) of our office and work area space today.

 

On a side note my programming skills are at let us say at a stage of development which would only go to confirm my inability to think inside the box. So much for a first time learning project for a program.

By Joseph Michael Ryan Sr. Baltimore ,MD jryanitpro@gmail.com

Launchpad’s “Secret Sauce”!

I noticed on Launchpad’s site that the plans to open source the service is scheduled to be completed by the middle of 2009. The only thing that struck me as odd was the fact that there are components that Canonical see as their “secret sauce”. Those components will not be open sourced.

It makes you wonder how a company with a business plan of servicing freely acquired software, can justify writing their own software and choosing to keep some closed because that is their “secret sauce”. What if the Linux kernel decided that their was a subsystem that was their way of keeping the competition at bay and they would only release, let’s say, the scheduler as binary only. This just doesn’t seem to jive with the spirit of community and giving back and such.

As always just my 2 cents worth.

Red Hat, Novell, Microsoft new bed partners!

I have been looking for more info on the new deal Red Hat has signed with Microsoft. So far it seems to be an interoperabilty agreement concerning the two companies Virtualization offerings. After reading further in to the news concerning the deal there seems to be a coming together of Novell, Red Hat, Citrix and Microsoft to squash VMWare. I’m not sure that an opensource leader as Red Hat calls itself, should be participating in preditory business tactics. I do not think it is a coincidencec that all parties involved in the lynching are making announcements for their new offerings and colaberation to seemingly take attention from the VMWare conference happening in Europe.

I believe that this type of business ethic is the exact thing that keeps opensource and Linux fighting for deserved attention and adoption by regular companies and users (that being Microsoft and other proprietary companies not competing on technological terms but FUD and other predatory scare tactics toward free software)

My main point is that OPen Source and Free Software can win on its superiority and innovation coming from our methadoligies and open development practices. We should not resort to “win at any cost- deal with the devil” tactics.

This sort of made my decision as to what community I will be contributing to and hope that the Ubuntu community and Mark Shuttleworth continue to avoid making a deal with the devil (MSFT). I don’t think we need anymore money hungry corporations making deals with Microsoft for financial security or gain (Novell). It only serves the IP accusations still made by Ballmer to this day.

Just my two cents

Fedora 11 nicely coming along!

I have chosen Fedora as my Linux of choice after a scitzo past of distro hopping. I have been wrestling with leaving behind Windows as you can see in other posts but I am sincerely convinced now that Linux and opensource/free software will be my future.

This post is more of a call out to those who had issues with Fedora and Ubuntu and the Intel Wireless driver 4965. I had very slow performance issues and could only resolve it by installing the backports package for Ubuntu 8.10 and Fedora 10 was giving me the same problem unitil compiling the compat6_wireless updates from linuxwireless.org.

I am happy to say that Fedora 11 has this issue fixed as of the Alpha release I downloaded and installed today.

Just thought I ‘d give a shout out to all those looking for an update on this issue. I know it had me pulling my hair out. I’m not sure if the fix is in the latest Ubuntu beta but it probably will be if not yet.

Programming the Web?

I have decided to try learning programming through web development. It seemed that just going through books and such was too dreadful to be interesting. My current employer was interested in a website so it seemed like the perfect oppoetunity for me to actually have something to pull me along. Now it is the issue of deciding whether going the way of opensource or asp.net. But this is more then deciding a platform for me as I seem to be at a crossroads with Operating System and life philosophy.

I have tried Linux in several iterations always to seemingly be turned off by or just plain disgusted by something. As I have said in a previous post it seems that Linux as desktop is chasing the corporate heels of Windows (yes even Vista!) and now OS X. I don’t know how many programming books I have read as of late where all screeb shots are in OS X and the author makes to no apologies in recommending OS X as a perfect balance between Windows (the clean functional GUI) and the power of the Unix-like command-line (the BSD core). Although at this time the Mac is out of my budget range, so I won’t be commenting on whether or not it is true that the Mac is better thren Windows. Ubuntu to me has come the closest at clean usibility but it is so gosh darn ugly (it seems by design).

I am currently back to using Windows Vista again because it seems that I spend less time chasing down fixes for Linux quirks and more time just using my computer again. I have actually read people ranting on the internet about certain Linux distros functioning too well and being boring to “use”, isn’t that just revealing. Or it’s nice to get a good Linus comment and find out how out of touch he is with the industry as a whole.

I find it very funny when I hear opensource touted for being so much more responsive in fixing bugs and giving users what they want, then I take a look at the typical opensource mailing list and listen to users and other programmers get their proverbial heads chewed off by the “community” maintainers.

Again as I stated inm earlier posts most of this is just rantoing because I’m sure to be back using Linux again on a daily basis but these are things I hope to see improve but until they do maybe my rants will be at the very least enlightening.

Oh and I didn’t even mention my dliemna should I concentrate on Django(Python), PHP or ASP.NET to help me forward in my programming journey. Just today I purchased a book about building a real live Django application from scratch and it has somewhat excited my learning today. Maybe learning without having something to apply it too just doesn’t work for me. I have heard other people say that they can’t learn programming languages without having a problem to solve which makes sense to me. Most dry reference like programming tutorials lose me very quickly.

PS If anyone is wondering how my CS degree is going, I have not been able to afford to continue. Although it was very encouraging to me to have done so well in the first CS class I had taken (maybe one day I will be the great hacker I dream of becoming)

Well until next time!

God Bless

Ian Murdock rewrites history!

I can’t help but comment on Ian Murdock’s talks he has been giving since at Sun. His main premise seems to be that OpenSolaris is no different then Linux except for the kernel. I think he is playing fast and loose with the truth. I agree with the premise that Linux as most people refer to is the complete distro, ie GNU software, Firefox etc. The point where I strongly disagree is where he seems to claim that most people are not Linux people including himself but Open Source people. If this was cut and dry then the OpenSolaris kernel could be dropped in with the Gnome desktop and the new Project Indiana packaging system and the world could just as easily use OpenSolaris as they have used Linux. Well that is far from the truth. Just try for yourself and you will certainly see just how vastly different Linux and Opensolaris is. Ian seems to ignore the community around Linux (yes Linux not Opensource) that has enabled the seemless hardware support with the awesome work that continues to be done in the Linux driver space. So does anyone else seem to think that Ian is just slightly oversimplifying why Linux is so successfull and clearly the winner hands down when compared with Opensolaris.

No Ian, Linux is not just the distro that many people are sadly mistaken to have credited with more then it deserves. Linux is not “just” a kernel in that sense. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Without Linux, the distro as we know it would not exist. Please at least admit that Ian.

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