Archive for August, 2007

Bullet Proof X

BulletProofX introduction with screen shots of the action.

I really would have liked this feature several years ago:

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work to select just any of the generic monitors, so users may find they need to trial-and-error a solution. Fortunately, there is a cool new feature – Add Model which allows users to add a new monitor by using the Windows driver CD that comes with their monitor. This uses a script to parse the Windows *.inf file to get the hsync, vsync, edid, dpms, and other info to update the database locally.

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VMware to offer new pricing for SME

I missed this in the morning, but saw it later on Daniel’s post.

In September, possible with a launch at VMworld 2007, VMware will announce a new promotion called Foundation, bundling together three ESX Servers Started Edition and one VirtualCenter (capped to manage those three virtualization hosts) for $3,000.

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Infrastructure Management

Mike has a whole pile of useful entries on infrastructure management for Linux and Debian with puppet and other tools. Also check out this quick look at puppet.

In the new year I’m planning to set up a lab system and build some knowledge on using puppet as a Xen system and domain deployment tool. Looking at Mike’s site it seems he might have already done much of the work for me.

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Openoffice vs MS Office on a Terminal Server

Detailed look at OpenOffice vs MS Office on a Terminal Server by Bernhard Tritsch:

The results show that roughly 30 to 40% more users can sign on to the platform with Microsoft Office 2003 than with 2.1 with identical hardware and an identical configuration of the terminal server on Windows Server 2003 SP1. Even for terminal servers with Microsoft Office 2007, one can expect that the system resources can be used roughly 20% more efficiently than is possible on a system with This applies both for the 32-bit and the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 when used as the primary platform.

Memory requirements of all three Office Suites on 64-bit Windows Server 2003 are increased by the factor 1.1 to 1.5 if compared to the 32-bit platform.

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Halo 3 video

If you like Halo you should watch this video. Halo 3 promises to be an amazing looking game. I’m out of the country when it releases, but knowing my friends they’ll be ready for several coop replays by the time I get home again.

From digg.

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No, not OOXML again!

I’m sure this is a bit monotone to a few readers, but these two commentaries speak much better to the issues than I can. The 2nd particularly points to a fundamental issue: the independent process of standardisation is being pushed aside by the politics of business.

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I checked out OrangeHRM from the Sourceforge top ten list over the weekend and it looks quite useful.

Here is a quick review. Some of the functionality looks very useful.

The third major facility of OrangeHRM is a comprehensive leave management module. This provides entire workflow for an employee to request leave, with any number of approvers being able to review the request. Approved leave is recorded in a company calendar. At each stage, the appropriate people are notified of the status of the request and any actions he or she must take. This alone is of great benefit to many companies whether small or large saving both paper and time, as well as showing at a glance who will be away on any given day or week.

I use ipayroll to deal with most of the hassle of accounting for paye and doing payment batches, but the other side of organising when leave can be allocated over a couple branches can be a pita. Self-service might make this much easier.

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OpenXML again

It is painful reading the comments at Rod Drury > Open XML Crunch Time.

Robert O’Callahan has a useful comparison to the HTML standard.

Ignore the usually stupid naming call on both sides. Over and over, we have the same:

  1. Business case – Many billion documents in the old format.
  2. Business case – Cost to move away from Office
  3. Technical case – What happens to innovation?


  1. Business case – The future is not dependent on the past in this situation.
  2. Business case – Why should a ISO standard justify _your_ potential OOXML business model?
  3. Techical case – What happened to making it work?

Some of it seems to be what hear about at global whaling conference.

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More on document standards

I’m not sure why there is the constant it’s already a standard, so “let’s make it official” party line for OOXML.

In fact currently there are more ODF documents than OOXML.

The current discussion is about what is coming next and not about what we have at the moment. Certainly older Microsoft formats are pretty much a mob enforced standard, but were does that get us? A future likelihood of a community generating the situation where we are forced to buy Office 2007 just so we can send OOXML documents for a government tender, business contracts, legal letters, etc, etc, etc. Badly directed standards have a way of doing this.

Why should a new standard justify a commercial status-quo or monopoly?

I think it is also disingenuous to claim there is a business cost in failing to standardise OOXML. If a worldwide ISO standard existed (oh right it does) then Microsoft like everyone else has the choice to implement a migration path. If this standard was built into Office Now+1, then the business cost of OOXML and ODF would be the same.

After all we are not talking about the past, but looking to the future.

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Stack protection

Migrating an accounting system from an old Xen 2.0 domain to XenEnterprise means it is also time to upgrade from sarge. Due to changes in available libraries, this required recompiling Leading to issues dealing with a new gcc 4.1 feature:

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