Scott Dowdle's blog
I recently attended a Linux Installfest and the primary distribution recommended by those heading up the event was Ubuntu. That's all well and good but during their Linux dog-and-pony-show a statement was made regarding Red Hat that struck me. I don't recall the exact wording that was used but it was something along the lines of... Red Hat used to be very popular but not anymore. I wasn't really offended by the statement nor do I completely disagree with it... but a lot remains to be said about the importance of Red Hat within the Linux community. Red Hat is certainly king in the "Enterprise" space with Novell a respectable second... but many still seem to be unaware just how much Red Hat contributes to the development of many projects and the rapid progress of Linux.
Whenever I see any articles about Red Hat on any of the Linux community sites (think Slashdot), the comments will invariably mention a few things that I consider to be myths about Red Hat. They include:
- Red Hat is the "Microsoft of Linux"
- Red Hat abandoned the desktop/home user market
- Red Hat costs a fortune
- Red Hat created "rpm hell" and rpm based distributions suck
I do not want to even attempt to address each individual myth but I do want to make a few points about Red Hat in an effort to educate people to the fact that Red Hat does a lot for the Linux community and is a major (if not THE major) contributor.
Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.0 GA came out today or was it yesterday / last year? After reading the release notes(PDF) and doing a complete backup, I upgraded both my work and personal Zimbra servers. I have been using Zimbra for as my work and personal email server for... oh... something close to two years now. Over that time there have been a number of upgrades and they have always gone smoothly.
What's new with Zimbra 5.0?
Well, you could read the release notes to see, but I'll give a brief summary of some of the things that stand out in my mind:
- Briefcase - A file storage area with a nice file manager
- Tasks - Create to-do lists and manage tasks through to completion
- Instant Messaging - Beta - User to user chat
- More sharing - Mail folders can be shared, new HTTP calendar sharing, share Briefcase files
- Documents - Now out of beta... online text and spreadsheet documents
- Little touches - folder summaries, public or private calendar entries, updated help system, email priorities, enhanced tagging, and automatic http to https redirection
There's some new service named hulu that seems to be backed by the bigwigs in Hollywood or something. Oddly enough, they are allowing for embedding of full episodes on user's websites and this is a test.
I've seen the entire Firefly series (part of a first season that was cut short by cancellation) and it is quite good. Enjoy this first episode.
Training materials for new users has been a topic of discussion lately... especially with the renewed claim that, "2008 will be the year of the Linux desktop" and the seeming rise of Ubuntu as a distribution for new users.
Judy recently wrote to us:
I just wanted to thank, I believe it was Scott and Warren for turning me to Chess Griffin's Podacsts. I have listened to the first 12 so far and am understanding more with each one. Sometimes I have to listen to a podcast twice to get it. I am very computer illiterate, however I am beginning to understand some of the jibberish Ken used to talk about. Bodhi is doing an adult education class in January as well. With what I am learning from Chess will help me with that class.
Thanks again for you help and patience,
You are welcome Judy. Thanks to Charles Griffin for the Linux Reality podcasts. The rest of this posting deals with what training materials are out there and discusses an opportunity for us to give back to the Linux community.
The meeting is tonight. I got a few replies back from people who just wanted to meet at the MSU CS lab rather than the traditional meeting place and driving over.
For anyone who isn't familiar with the MSU CS lab location... and where to park, here's some basic instructions:
The Engineering and Physical Science (EPS) building is located at the corner of W. Grant St. and S. 7th Ave. The building is on the NE corner of the intersection. The place to park is on the SW corner of the intersection. There are several parking lots on S. 7th Ave. but the "Pay lot" is the north most one. That's where you want to park. At the time of the start of the meeting, you'll probably need to pull a ticket when entering the lot (or the arm won't come up to let you in)... but by the end of the meeting, the pay lot is closed and the arm is up so you can exit the lot freely.
The meeting room in the EPS building is on the second floor... room 259. I try to make sure the building is unlocked so no one has any trouble entering.
The topics for tonight's meeting are:
1) Howto record screencasts in Linux
and if anyone is interested
2) Creating and using desktop environments within OpenVZ virtual machines
The method used for remotely using the desktop environments also applies to non-virtualized use so if you'd like to know how to run KDE on a remote machine over ssh with the display coming up on your local machine... without using VNC, I'll show you how. VNC is also usable in both scenerios too.
Despite the poor weather, I hope to see you at the meeting.
Update from the day after the meeting: We had approximately 9 people attend the meeting so it went rather well... although I wasn't as prepared for my two presentations as I would have liked to have been. We also talked a lot about GNOME vs. KDE... did a little Ubuntu and Fedora bashing... talked about the HDHomeRun HD/Digital tuner box with Network output (which we hope to have demoed in Feb 2008)... and Linux in general.
Ken had ownership of both the
HelenaLUG.org domains and controlled the websites and mailing lists. Oddly enough, the company that was doing the DNS and hosting of the BozemanLUG seems to be having some problems. Their DNS servers were unreachable this weekend but they appear to be back up now... but the hosting services have not come back online yet.
Ken was hosting the HelenaLUG stuff on a machine in his basement and that has gone away... but I did
rsync it before it went offline.
Assuming the hosting service for BozemanLUG comes back to life in the near future, I'm going to try and gain access to the web
rsync it, as well as get the list of email addresses that was on the mailing list and start a new list. If the hosting company doesn't come back online with the content and/or I can't gain access to the data, I'll just scrub a copy of the BozemanLUG site from the wayback-machine and manually use the email addresses I've collected over the years from various BozemanLUG members and start a new list.
Assuming we can get control of the
HelenaLUG.org domain, that should be passed to Bodhi Zazen who appears to be the most active Linux user in Helena... who it appears will take over leadership of the HelenaLUG for the near future.
The memorial service was well attended. So far as I could tell there were approximately 6 LUG members (2 from Billings, 3 from Bozeman, and 1 from Helena). Of course Ken's family was there as was Judy's... and all of Ken's co-workers from Key Computer Consulting and many people from the motorcycle club Ken was a member of.
We started by signing the guestbook upon entry into the building. That was followed by heading up to the front table that had three posters full of pictures of Ken for a trip down memory lane.
The full story contains several pictures. See also the photogallery.
Donnie Lunder and Warren Sanders (both from the BillingsLUG) picked me up about noon on their way to Helena. The reason we went so early, given the fact that the service wasn't until 6:30PM, was because we had a mission: 1) Gain access to all of Ken's computers, see what they are running, and save anything that needed to be saved, and 2) Go through all of Ken's computer related stuff and help get rid of everything so the family doesn't have to.