http://usalug.org

Monday, January 14, 2019

IBM Began Buying Red Hat 20 years ago

The article: https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/ibm-began-buying-red-hat-20-years-ago suggests in the title that IBM Began Buying Red Hat 20 years ago.  While that is actually just a title intended to attract attention, I can tell you that IBM was one of the first major companies to embrace both Linux and other forms of Open Source and other types of software that for years have stood side by side with their own proprietary brands of hardware and software.

IBM is not afraid to carry several different lines of competing products and services and has done this for several decades - most of my career, in fact.  HP has not been too far behind IBM in their support.  I went to a few conferences in the early 2000s concerning UNIX, and then Linux products and services.  Both companies had a solid presence and even had several employees who served on committees, and in many cases, chaired committees - using company resources and the company name, so this really isn't new, but as of now it's about as mainstream as either companies collections of traditional name brand products.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Food for thought about large companies, their demise, and ways to regain relevance

Regarding Microsoft, perhaps they have learned a few lessons in the post Steve Ballmer years and are returning to their core values (in the current age of technology).

This may or may not be "THE way" or the only way, but it is food for thought.

Also, Microsoft, in the last 5 years or so (again after the Ballmer regime) has. had a much smarter attitude toward Linux, much more like the attitude of IBM, HP, Dell - and more recently, looking at the success of Amazon, Facebook, Linkedin, git, etc. and they've embraced these technologies and they are a major player in cloud services, which puts them back in the business - to - business conversation once again.

It's even possible that Microsoft may eventually either dump Windows altogether or use open source technologies as core components of its underpinnings.  Don't be surprised if this happened.  I predicted it as long ago as 1999 that such components would dominate, and they do.  But because of Steve Ballmer, it took MSFT nearly 20 years to get on the right path, when, had they done it first, they could be #1 in this too, so in that regard, perhaps it's best that there are 3-4 solid competitors in this space!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Fedora 29 network-based release upgrade from Fedora 28

That's what I am attempting to do tonight, put Fedora 29 Xfce on my Dell Inspiron 5558 by doing a network-based release upgrade from Fedora 28.

I seldom do things "the easy way" when I am experimenting.

Fedora 28 actually worked out reasonably well, especially considering it's bleeding edge reputation, so it'll be interesting to see how this one ends up!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

PCLinuxOS in 2018

I am currently using PCLinuxOS on my Dell Inspiron 5558.

I have XFCE running here right now; I have often used this particular distribution with KDE frequently in the past, although it is a very good distribution for use with many diverse window managers and desktop environments - XFCE is very solid with PCLinuxOS.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

AntiX 17

AntiX (and it's "sister" distribution MX 17 Horizon - which you can find at MX-17 released December-15-2017 ) are both effective and easy to use distributions.  Of the two of them, antiX 17 is the smaller, more "nimble" distribution intended for "older" hardware, and MX-17 is an antiX replacement for what used to be the MEPIS distribution.  MX-17 now uses Xfce as it's desktop environment (instead of the KDE desktop environment previously used in MEPIS.  That makes MX a bit "lighter" than MEPIS, yet MX retains good usability.

Note that both distributions are based on software that comes from Debian.  The communities that discuss and support these two distributions have some overlaps, since anticapitalista is the lead developer of both of them and they both get their "heritage" from the Debian and MEPIS traditions.

I'm using antiX 17 to write this note from the FlashPeak Slimjet Web browser.  With 5 tabs open, the browser, at the moment, is chewing up the most memory, but it is still consuming less an an eighth of the total memory and not swapping at all. Moreover, it's quite responsive, so that's good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

openSUSE "Tumbleweed"

Since I've given openSUSE "more of a chance" on my Dell Inspiron 5558 laptop than I have any other hardware, probably dating back to the days when I used to write distribution reviews for Extreme Tech (and that was about 15-16 years ago), I have, nevertheless found the recent SUSE releases to be more "stable" than one of my desktop favorites in those early days.

Mandrake (then renamed Mandriva), and there are a few derivatives today, Rosa, OpenMandriva, used to be a favorite of mine.  I used to be in the original forum, I was using their test and early update versions and I always found it easy to install and generally reasonable compared to other distributions of its time.  But when the founder, Gael Duval, left the company, things changed.  Less and less I was interested in what they did and how they did it.  The software became less stable, and the company became less stable as well.

Fortunately by then I found a "new Linux home" in Debian-based distributions.  Libranet was an early Debian favorite, as was Xandros and Corel Linux, but it didn't take long to get into the pure Debian approach either.  KNOPPIX was one of my "Swiss Army Knife" live implementations, but then Debian Live came along, and once again the main Debian distribution did the trick for me.

The MEPIS-based distributions from Warren Woodford, and later antiX the from Thessalonica and "anticapitalista" survived longer than many of those early Debian-based systems, but MEPIS was taken over by antiX and the project now produces one of my current generation favorites MX - currently MX-16.1.

openSUSE really got on my radar because the GPT (partition) and UEFI (boot loader) features, even several years after their initial introduction, are not handled very well by many systems, including many Linux distributions.  Now that I have it "set up" several distributions can "change it", but they usually do not recognize all of my installed systems.  openSUSE is one of the distributions that gets booting 100% correct, so even if I'm not always using it, I have "put in in charge" of handling my booting needs.

PCLinuxOS, Fedora, and Devuan, along with the latest Debian release have shown themselves capable of updating and managing the boot loader, but I still trust openSUSE most, because it got things right for me and did it better than anything else.  Fedora got it right first, but finding and updating it, and gaining quick access to the Fedora booting tools are more complicated than necessary, and since openSUSE does it easily and well, it "wins".  If I were tweaking my systems every day, things may be different, but life is different for me these days too.  I'm working quite hard every day on the job, and often work extra hours with little "down time" to simply rest - and when I do, most of the time I spend with my wife.  Why not tonight?  She was extremely tired, also having worked hard and seems to be suffering from recent "sleep deprivation" from a night earlier in the week where sleep was elusive after a particularly difficult day... so I have the rare moment to write.

As usual, the post ended up being a jumble of random thoughts, but I did cover some past background, the systems I have used most in the past, and those I use most often these days, outside of times with a Chromebook or a phone with Internet-based applications.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

MX-16 to the rescue!

MEPIS and antiX distributions have been among the easiest to install, configure, and use for many years, but it's also been a few years since a distribution named MEPIS has produced a release.  Instead the antiX development team, united with the MEPIS Lovers Community has been producing antiX derivatives labelled MX for the past few years.  So far we've had MX-14, MX-15 and MX-16 releases and the MX-16 is about as good as it gets.

I know that MX is nowhere near as well known as Linux Mint, but it's pretty comparable in many ways, in spite of the significantly smaller community.  Personally I prefer it; while it's relatively easy to install, it wins for me because it has - at least in my view - better tools to use in customizing the .appearance and features of the distribution