Archive for March, 2006

hx4700 WM5 Update Finally avaliable

I’m downloading the update now, it comes in at a massive 332Mb. It’s coming down at a reasonable rate, so we’ll see how it goes once its here. From: hx4700 Windows Mobile 5.0 Upgrade @ Mobility Today.

As a sidenote, I’ve been thinking recently of replacing the hx4700 with a UMPC. I’ve been using a Treo 650 which is a much better PDA than the hx4700. A good UMPC would be light enough to still provide me with the primary function I now use the hx4700 for, which is reading ebooks. Plus it could add some functionality in combination with a large Tablet. The Tablet being a workspace and the UMPC provide a notepad. We’ll see things go once I finally have a tablet and have been using it for a while.

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Markdown and Code Snippets

I turned off Markdown as it was getting annoying, with the WYSIWYG editor in WP2.0 Markdown isn’t really useful anyway more. I also installed Code Snippets so I could present things a bit better in the article about Lighttpd and Daemontools.

I must say Code Snippets is very easy to install and use.

Anyway, some comments and a few articles will probably be broken without Markdown. I’ll fix them as I find them.

Next thing on the to do list is an upgrade to the theme on this site, and then add something useful like About.

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Xen and /etc Management

These guys have an interesting looking project called Enomalism Virtualized Management Console which is an open source web based Xen domain management console. After looking at the screen shots, I’m looking forward to seeing how it functions. They have some futher work which seems to leverage this to provide an integrated collaborative content management for business called TYfresco. Combining Zimbra, Sugarcrm and, a new project for me, Alfresco.

I tried to get Zimbra running recently on an Amd64 Debian domU, but ran into 64bit issues. After several attempts at compiling Zimbra, I figure my next try will be with a 32bit chroot.

Anyway I’ve also been thinking along these lines and better Xen management recently. I’ve been considering building my own system based on Cfengine and Layed Subversion. Cfengine is meant to be very powerful, and is some thing I’d like to spend time learning regardless. Laysvn seems easier to use now, however I’m in two minds about its functionality. The balance been easy of use and security is something I have to explore further.

I see a tool like this as being useful for both deploying new and migrating old servers, plus the restoration management in the event of a system failure. However this needs to be balanced against the leakage of system security information from files like /etc/shadow. On one hand it’s important to store this, on the other with a bad implementation it increases the risk that secure information will leaked. Another thing to consider, as indicated by several comments on Tracking, auditing and managing your server configuration with Subversion in 10 minutes, is permissions management.
Finally I saw this cool looking admin tool on freshmeat in my rss reader Great News today. Network wide updates for systems which use APT, or nwu. Maybe this is something I figured I could do with cfengine, or maybe it’s something that can be combined with cfengine. However, very useful work.

As more systems are run on Xen, making it much easier for sysadmins to partition their services on the same hardware and therefore make system maintenance easier on the application. Better tools will have to be produce to assist management on the OS level.

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Thin Clients saving Sun money?

From Thick clients: Betting against the network?, an article from Computerworld: Sun CIO juggles tight budgets, IT integration. This comment particularly was interesting:

(Bill) Vass (of Sun) expects to spend about $300 million this year on Sun’s IT needs, a figure that represents about 2% of the company’s expected revenue this year. The average company spends between 3% and 4% of its revenue, most figures show — and most of Sun’s direct competitors spend far more.

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Linux server stats

Some interesting stats about the relative usages rates on distributions in the Linux server space. SUSE, Fedora or Debian for sys admins: A closer look:

Interestingly, Debian accounted for 44.6% of the Linux systems deployed while SUSE had 11.4% of the systems deployed. Fedora and Red Hat legacy distributions accounted for 9.2%. The later surprised me.

As those experienced with Debian would expect:

Overwhelmingly, system administrators preferred apt-get for adding, removing and updating their servers. We also discovered that system admins added ports of apt-get to Fedora and SUSE. So much for yast -i. The preferred Debian administration utility drove people who used the non-commercial distributions to Debian.

Also with a link to an interesting php ldap admin tool: GOsa.

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Haystack and Piggy Bank

The Haystack Project and Piggy are two Semantic Web projects from MIT.
Haystack seems to be some sort of universal information client, working provide a client to objectise information. Piggy Bank says it provides via a Firefox extension and a Java server (Bank) a method for collecting, sharing. RDFs are generate via screen scraping.
Worth investigating at some point.

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Four CMSs – short review

I had a look at four CMSs yesterday for a small brochure site. Here is a quick review:

  1. Typo3 – complex and powerful. Installation process on Debian takes a bit to figure but is straightforward once understood. A lot of documentation, but it lacks some organisation. However, there are some walkthrus for simple sites. I’d guessimate at least one-two weeks to figure out the basics and get something useful going. Each user would need their hands held.
  2. Plone – complex and powerful. Apt-get plone, although sarge is a bit behind as usual. Free book. However, doesn’t seem to be any clear “walkthrus” for build a small site. Seems like a very good platform for intranet or extranet applications. Plone vs Typo3 comparison.
  3. Drupal – simple and powerful. apt-get drupal. Documentation is messy, more like a lot of tips that something organised. Walkthu, but nothing really explaining how to get it do what I want. Seems better for a basic geek news site than for business site.
  4. MODx – simple, smart and brilliant. Drop in /var/www, chown then good install interface; upgrades look easy as well. Documentation is organised, clear and detailed in areas. No need for walkthru. Discovered via Peter Cooper. You can try it at Opensource CMS. For a simple business site MODx seems to be the best option. I figure I can convert the current html site in a day or two. Both designer and then content editors should be able to use system without much hand holding.

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Tablet Comparison

I’ve put together a quick comparison tablet for the tablets I’m considering at the moment.

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Spellbound and Firefox

Spellbound is broken in Firefox Here is a useful article about getting it going again. Also some comments about the new version of Spellbound and Firefox 2.0.

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Envelope Maths

Chris Pratley talks about the 1% for art features of the new OneNote 2007.

Having trained as a mathematician I naturally reach for an envelope whenever I need to work out some quick equations or sort out some rough numbers while processing business transactions. These pieces of paper all add to the mess flying around my desktop. So the thought of being able to do this with a Tablet+Pen in OneNote is turning me further towards the Tablet.

Update: The is also a very cool looking tablet maths app from xThink. Some details on evalution version here.

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