Scott Dowdle's blog

Video: FOSS World Domination - LFNW2009

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Jon "maddog" Hall gave a presentation entitled, "How Free and Open Source Software will have World Domination" at Linuxfest Northwest 2009 in Bellingham, WA. Please note that they started recording a bit too early and the presentation doesn't actually start until about 8 minutes in.

To view the video, click on the full story or use the alternative link:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1430592

Review: Sandisk Sansa Clip

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Sansa ClipSansa ClipI have always wanted a good quality audio player that works well with Linux and plays Ogg Vorbis files. Even though the Sansa Clip was originally released in 2007, I somehow missed it. The gang on The Linux Link Tech Show mentioned the Sandisk Sansa Clip as being an affordable, quality portable audio player that worked well with Linux so I decided to give it a shot. I did a little bargain hunting online and found a refurbished 1GB unit for $18.95 plus shipping so I thought it was hard to go wrong for that price. The unit arrived three days ago and I spent all weekend using it.

All of the reviews I'd come across (including a few video reviews) gave it high marks. The latest firmware available for it allows for playback of .ogg (Ogg Vorbis) and .flac (Free Loseless Audio Codec) in addition to .mp3, .wav, .wma and Audible.com DRMed audiobooks. It DOES NOT play .m4a (AAC) format. I prefer to use formats that are not patent encumbered so the vast majority of my music is in .ogg/.oga format.

60 Minutes segment on the Conficker virus

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Yeah, this is Microsoft Windows related, but it doesn't hurt the share the info since so many of us work in mixed environments.

To view the video, click on the full story.

Linux Educational Comicbook

H&B #2H&B #2I got an email from Jeremiah Gray announcing a new issue (#2) of Hackett and Bankwell, the educational comicbook about Linux and Free and Open Source Software from Intarcorp Ltd. Issue #2 is currently only available in electronic format (PDF) and they have decided to release it under a Creative Commons license. Thank you!

Intarcorp Ltd.Intarcorp Ltd.You may recall that I bought the print version of Hackett and Bankwell last year at Linuxfest Northwest 2008 and mentioned it in my LFNW 2008 Report. I'm a comicbook collector from way back but I don't have much of a collection to speak of these days.

It turns out they have done some updates to the original issue #1 and also released it in electronic format (PDF) but are calling it #1.1 because of the updates. If you haven't checked this comicbook out, do so. Pass it along to younger readers too... it is for all ages. I can't say enough good things about Hackett and Bankwell... and will definitely be dropping by their booth at Linuxfest Northwest 2009 to say hello.

H&B #1.1H&B #1.1Almost forgot to mention... a couple of months ago they were kind enough to mail us (the BozemanLUG) 10 issues of #1 to give away to LUG members. They are very interested in getting feedback from readers so they can improve the comicbook with each issue. They are really stressing the educational approach. Please download issues #1 and #2 (you can find the PDFs as attachments to this post), share them with everyone, and give them some constructive feedback if you are so inclined.

You are also encouraged to buy a copy of the print version of #1 or make a donation to help them produce future issues.

Virtualization marketplace continues to heat up

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RH SlideRH SlideVirtualization has been a buzz word for a few years now. Some people think it has been over-hyped but I'm not one of those people. The big competing products seem to be: VMware, Xen, KVM, VirtualBox, Parallels (including OpenVZ), and Hyper-V.

Is there too much choice out there? Choice isn't bad, is it? Will there eventually be a market shake up with a thinning of product candidates as a result? Will someone try to proclaim that they are the virtualization "standard"? I don't really know. I certainly like competition and don't think having a number of competing products is bad. There are both proprietary products and FOSS products. As you can guess, I lean towards the later if at all possible.

Update: Full article now includes two embedded flash videos from Red Hat.

Report: January 2009 BozemanLUG Meeting

Brian VincentBrian VincentJust wanted to thank Brian Vincent for giving the presentation on Wine. It was very interesting to hear from someone who was a member of the project for several (five?) years.

Brian said he has been working in a Windows only shop and for the presentation he had installed Linux (Fedora 10) on his laptop for the first time in a long while. Glad to see it actually worked well.

It is nice when a presenter uses Linux to give their presentation at a Linux meeting, huh? He actually ran his slides from Powerpoint 2003 under Wine as one of several examples he gave of how well some apps work.

Two or three more showed up after this was takenTwo or three more showed up after this was taken

Attached you will find a PDF version of his presentation. Enjoy!

An OpenVZ Experiment - How many containers?

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I was wondering just how many OpenVZ containers I could create on a beefy machine and how many processes the Linux kernel would be happy running so I decided to do an experiment.

I have two OpenVZ hosts... one is the primary and the other is a backup machine. Both of them are HP Proliant DL380 Gen5 machines with dual, quad-core Xeon processors, 32GB of RAM, 32GB of swap, and a 600GB /vz partition. I decided to use the backup OpenVZ machine for the experiment.


The Linux Link Tech Show Archive

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Wow, being a guest on The Linux Link Tech Show... with fantastic hosts Dann, Linc, Allan, and Pat... was great. I had a lot of fun. Yes, there were some technical problems at the beginning of the show that caused it to start a little late... and unfortunately I didn't have a way to boost my volume... and I don't know how it sounded live because I wasn't tuned into the live stream... but the archive recording isn't too bad. I'm guessing Dann cranked up the volume whenever I was talking.

For those who missed the live show, here are links to the .ogg and .mp3 archives:

tllts_278-12-17-08.ogg
tllts_278-12-17-08.mp3


Screencast: How to Build a Fedora 10 Remix

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I made a two-part screencast on how to build a Fedora Linux remix. The first video has some slides at the beginning that explains the process and then walks through it with a live demo. The second video boots the LiveDVD that was created, shows an "Install to Hard Drive" and then shows some of the features of the remix.

Why would you want to make a remix? Two common reasons:

1) You want updated install media that has all of the updates already applied. Given the fact that Fedora has a lot of package churn and a constant stream of security fixes, bug fixes and feature enhancement updates, their install media gets out of date pretty quickly. That is especially the case if you want to use an .iso image of the LiveCD media to make a LiveUSB out of.

2) You want more software included on the Live media than Fedora provides. The Fedora folks usually fill up a single CD but how about a LiveDVD with additional desktop environments, a slew of window managers, a ton of application software, and multimedia apps that Fedora won't include in the distro? That's what I make during the screencast... a custom LiveDVD with all of the updates applied and all of the additional software I want in a LiveDVD with a painless, quick install-to-hard-drive if desired.

Here is the end result. I boot the the LiveDVD image and even do an install.

You can find the full-quality Ogg Theora videos here (Right-click, Save Link As..):
fedora-10-remix.ogv (130MB)
fedora-10-remix-boot.ogv (65MB)

Screencast: A Brief Introduction to OpenVZ

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The first "Introduction to OpenVZ" screencast that I did was over 1.5 years ago and it has become somewhat outdated... so I decided to make a new one.

If desired, you may download the full-quality Ogg Theora video:
openvz-brief-intro.ogv (114MB) (Right-click, Save Link As...)

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