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Episode 065 – Mat’s new Lack Rack

Posted by Tony on January 6, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |
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Total Running Time: 1:28:45

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/us-4M4392uE

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Summary

Kernel News: Mat
Time: 13:28
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 17:17
Mary Distro Review
Time: 23:00
Tech News:
Time: 45:00
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 1:11:36
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:18:17
Outtro Music
Time: 1:23:23

Intro:

Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Intro Sound bite by Mike Tanner

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 13:28

Kernel News

Release Candidate:
On Wed, 2 Jan 2013 19:36:54 PST
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.8-rc2
Here is what he said about it:

“It’s a new year, people are getting back to work, and trying desperately to forget the over eating that has been going on for the last two weeks. And hey, to celebrate, here’s -rc2!

The patch is fairly small, and largely dominated by the GPU updates and the trivial removal of __devinit/exit in the i2c layer. But there’s some filesystem work (ext4, ecryptfs, ceph) and some VM fixes in there to. And some late ARM OMAP cleanups.”

–Linus Torvalds

Mainline:
3.7

Stable Updates:
On Fri, 04 Jan 2013 01:17:42 GMT
Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.36
With 187 files changed, 1628 lines inserted, and 923 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:

“A lot [of] SD and MicroSD cards out there are crap^H^H^H^H driven by low prices rather than quality. Here are some good hints for how to check low-end flash devices for sanity before you put precious data on them. (And before you blame the file system for a problem caused by crap storage devices. :-“

–Theodore Ts’o
And here is a link to the information he is referring to:
http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=2297

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 17:17

Distrowatch.com

  • 12-30 – AgiliaLinux 8.1.1 – Russian Slackware-derived distribution with a custom, dependency-resolving package manager and support for several pre-configured desktop environments
  • 12-31 – FreeBSD 9.1
  • 1-1 – Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0r1 – based on Debian’s testing branch and featuring the GNOME 3 desktop
  • 1-2 – Semplice Linux 3.0.0 – based on Debian’s unstable branch and featuring the Openbox desktop user interface
  • 1-3 – Ultimate Edition 3.5 – Ubuntu 12.04 remix with KDE as the default desktop
  • 1-3 – Slax 7.0.3 – Slackware-based live CD
  • 1-3 – Snowlinux 4 – Debian-based distribution with MATE (a desktop environment forked from GNOME 2)
  • 1-3 – Bodhi Linux 2.2.0 – Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Enlightenment 0.17 window manager

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Bodi – 1495
  2. Ubuntu – 1701
  3. Snowlinux – 1783
  4. Mageia – 2069
  5. Mint – 3588

Mary Distro Review – Agilia Linux

Time: 23:00

This week’s distro review is of Agilia Linux, a Russian distribution, the download of which—at 3GB—rivaled the size of another Russian product: War and Peace. According to their site, Agilia Linux maintained by a small team of independent developers in their spare time.

The entire site is in Russian so I used Google translate to get a better understanding if this distro. However, you know that something was lost in the translation when the purpose of Agilia Linux was translated as “…designed for an advanced, but lazy audience. Do you think they really meant a smart and efficient audience? I am not sure but let’s take a look at the vitals…

The Vitals:
Name: Agilia Linux (best viewed translated in Google Chrome) http://agilialinux.ru/index.php)
Maintainer: Small group of dedicated Russian developers
Distro Latest Birthday: 8.1.1 on December 30, 2012
Derivative: Originally based on Slackware; Was called Mops Linux before becoming Agilia.
Kernel: 3.6.11
Review Desktop: Fluxbox (installed), Gnome (Live), KDE

Live Environment:

One of the first things you’ll notice about Agilia Linux –at least I did—is that it uses OpenRC, an alternate init system, to boot the system, rather than Systemd or Init (gotta be init to win it. 🙂 )

OpenRC is a dependency-based init system that works with the system-provided init program, normally /sbin/init. I only noticed this because the system hung a couple of times during the boot process and I noticed a reference to OpenRC. OpenRC was developed by the Gentoo project. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenRC)

Agilia boots to a Gnome desktop, with a theme as gray and mundane as cloudy Russian winter. This Gnome desktop has no panel at the top, everything needed for your session is located in the panel at the bottom of the screen.

Graphics: ( nouveau)
Wireless:  (iwl4965)

Getting wireless working was no problem.

The Defaults
Browser: Arora (Fluxbox) Firefox (Fluxbox, Gnome and KDE); Konqueror (KDE)
Office Suite: In the live version LibreOffice is available for download and install from the package manager. Comes installed in KDE
Mail Client: Claws-Mail (located in the Network category on the launcher menu).
File Manager: PCManFM; Dolphin (KDE)
Pkg Manager: MPKG

Agilia’s panel at the bottom of the screen handled the desktop pager in an interesting way, Rather than just have the four desktops as desktops one through four, they were named: Sys, Web, Im, and Dev. I thought it helped reinforce the objective desktops.

However, two of launcher menu categories retained their Russian language entries. One of them was the power category—restart, shutdown, etc. Good thing that the pictures were available. Menu pictures came in very handy at this point.

The Install Process:

Agilia gives you the option to select the desktop/window manager you want installed. So that’s why the DVD is 3GB. The rest of the process is typical for a Linux install.

There were a couple of other items of note– Agilia detected my Nvidia card and provided me with the option to use the proprietary Nvidia drivers, although during one install (I installed it at least twice) I selected the Nvidia driver option and was unable to complete the install. It crashed. Agilia also allows you to walk through the install set-up process and save the install selections for later. I did not try this approach.


Even though Agilia presents your decisions to you on the screen, it also requests that you confirm everything is OK.

Installed Environment:

Anyone who’s used Fluxbox knows that it’s a low resources window manager, and Agilia sets it up with Conky-like system monitoring displays on the right. To access the Fluxbox menus, you right click on the screen. In addition to Fluxbox, I also reinstalled Agilia with KDE because you can’t let 4GB of RAM go to waste.

KDE was its regular self—but the install included a few tools and programs with which I was not familiar because they’re not installed by default in Kubuntu. We’ll take a look at a couple of them.

Other interesting Programs: Some of the programs I mention may be standard fare in the typical Gnome desktop. I discuss the tools and apps that I find interesting.

Disk Utility – Originally developed by Red Hat but available for the Gnome desktop, this tool has EVERYTHING you could want in a disk tool. It provides disk specifications, and acts as a dashboard/control center for a host of other disk tools, including partitioning, accessing SMART data, etc. Discovering this tool led me on journey and I ended up installing the smartmontools package from the Kubuntu repository. This package contains two applications: smartctl and smartd which control and monitor storage systems using the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (S.M.A.R.T.) built into most modern ATA and SCSI hard disks. A second install from the repository for gsmartcontrol put a GUI front-end to the information generated by smartd.

 http://gsmartcontrol.berlios.de/home/index.php/About

http://www.howtoforge.com/checking-hard-disk-sanity-with-smartmontools-debian-ubuntu

Kchmviewer – Allows you to view help files that are in chm format (MS html help file format)

http://www.ulduzsoft.com/linux/kchmviewer/

Zenmap – is a utility to explore networks or audit network security. I went ahead and tried it against my own routers. Two were tight as drums and the third had port 80 open.

Uget – a tool to help manage downloads.

Sakura –(Gnome) terminal utility. It’s said to be similar to Gnome terminal but use less power. You be the judge. When it opens, you are root.

Kleopatra (KDE)- a certificate manager and a universal crypto GUI. It supports managing X.509 and OpenPGP certificates in the GpgSM keybox and retrieving certificates from LDAP servers.

Blogilo – a KDE blogging client that allows you to create posts in an html- or visual-style editor and upload them (via ftp, etc) to a server. Includes a preview window.

DNGConverter – A converter utility by Adobe to convert RAW to DNG format, which is similar to TIFF.

Photo-Layouts Tool

Exposure Blending tool which uses the Kipi plugins to integrate this with Digikam
Pan Newsreader (KDE) – Used, apparently, for Usenet articles. I thought it was an RSS reader.
Qt Designer Framework and other Qt development tools.

Rating:

Agilia Linux is as serviceable a distro as a bowl of borscht is tasty, washed down with a cup of Stoly, of course. I liked the Nvidia option (even better if I could have gotten it to work for me) and being able to select from six different desktops. The menu translation on all tested desktops and the grey theme in Gnome took away from my enjoyment of this distro.

2.7

Tech News:

Time: 45:00

Google Gives Up Injunctive Relief In Relation To Any Of It’s SEPs

When the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) made their announcement on January 3rd regarding their two year long investigation into Google, the big news wasn’t that they were not going to require any significant changes in Google’s advertising practices, it was Google’s agreement to not seek injunctive relief in regards to any of it’s SEPs (Standards Essential Patents). Almost no one even mentioned this fact, but I find it very telling. The major question discussed in both standards as well as regulatory circles is whether injunctive relief should be available where the defendant has agreed to negotiate for a license to a SEP, but claims the terms offered by the SEP’s owner do not meet the FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) test. Since Google settled in this case it leaves the legal aspect of injunctive relief unsettled.

TCP/IP Rules For Thirty Years

On January first 1983, what was then the precursor to the internet, ARPANET made the transition from the NCP (Network Control Program) protocol to TCP/IP ( Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). How it was done could never be done today. They shutdown every host on the network and made the switch. A change like that is called flag day because the first one, when they changed Multics definition of ASCII, was scheduled for the U.S. holiday, Flag Day, on June 14, 1966. Back then there were only about 400 hosts on ARPANET. Today there are tens of millions of hosts which precludes any immediate protocol evolution. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means stability and longer term resilience for existing systems. This is what Vinton Cerf co creator of TCP/IP with Robert Kahn said about it recently in a blog post:

“I can assure you while we had high hopes, we did not dare to assume that the Internet would turn into the worldwide platform it’s become,”

grsync graphical interface for rsync http://www.opbyte.it/grsync/ http://sourceforge.net/projects/grsync/

New independent movie software wars http://www.indiegogo.com/SoftwareWars/

Best rant against Windows 8 ever. Makes very cogent points in a humorous way
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYet-qf1jo


From the “How does that shoe fit on your other foot” department…
Well, well…we have Microsoft complaining that Google is refusing to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy. The functionality that Microsoft claims is missing includes the opportunity to search by category and add a rating to videos. Microsoft claims that the missing functionality degrades the user experience—because essentially the Youtube app available to Windows phone users is the Youtube web site repackaged in a browser.
+++++++++++
Mary’s Take: Boohoo, Microsoft! Sorry the shoe isn’t fitting your other foot that well. I think back to YOUR Silverlight web app framework and its incompatibility with Linux, rendering some web sites unviewable and unavailable to me. All I saw when I went to those sites was a white page…nothing else! And don’t say Moonlight or Mono—those two replacements were always a version or two behind and did not fix the problem. So wear that shoe, Microsoft, and tell US how it fits!!
The previous comment was my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Sunday Morning Linux Review (or maybe it does).
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/03/microsoft_claims_google_undermining_winphone/

The Sliverlight site: http://www.freestockcharts.com/

Six factors that can make or break an open source business

http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/22/open-source-business/

The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE – and it always will be

There is recent article in The Register tech site that begins with a startling comment: The year of the Linux tablet is, like the year of the Linux desktop, destined never to arrive. And goes on to say that the Linux tablet market will always cling to a small percentage of the overall market. Personally, I want to think that prediction is not the case. It seems to me that flexibility is a part of the equation as much as reliability.

The article goes on to say that “…For most, the dream of a Linux tablet means running a distro like Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora on some sort of tablet hardware…” My response to that is …And what is so wrong with that? It’s all about flexibility and versatility and to me, Linux is squarely in that court.
There are times when the I would like my tablet to behave more like a laptop because I have work to do and, let’s face it, the on-screen tablet keyboard is not very good for a touch typist like me. and there are times when my tablet is perfect as a tablet…touch screen, mobility, ease of use. The perfect device is a tablet that can plug into a keyboard for productivity tasks but can be disconnected from the physical keyboard when browsing or movie watching is being done. Android, as much as I like it, places limits on how you interact with it. That may be result from its origins as a phone OS, and the fact that real estate was a premium and the screens were tiny.

I look forward to a touch-sensitive Linux distro fully functional on a tablet. Whether that’s Ubuntu or the Plasma -desktop, it’s all about being in control of your device.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/26/year_of_the_linux_tablet/

Phone Makers Seek Alternative to Android…

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505124_162-57561857/phone-makers-seek-alternative-to-android/

Figlet and Toilet

http://www.linux.com/learn/docs/686943-linux-tips-fun-with-figlet-and-toilet

KDE Korner

KDE Ships January Updates to Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform

On January 2, the KDE project released its January updates to the KDE SC 4.9.x series. Release 4.9.5 contains many bug fixes and translation updates. It’s also the last release in the KDE 4.9 series. On the same day as 4.9.5 was released, the KDE project also announced, in sympathy with Fedora, that it was delaying the release of KDE 4.10 by two weeks. The new release date is 2/6—still a Wednesday—just two weeks later.

Link for 4.9.5 release:
http://kde.org/announcements/announce-4.9.5.php

Link for KDE 4.10 delay:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI2Njc
http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/KDE4/4.10_Release_Schedule

KDE App of the Week – Zanshin

http://zanshin.kde.org/features/


Steam Box Gaming Console Running Linux In 2013
http://www.linuxnewshere.com/index.php/steam-box-gaming-console-running-linux-in-2013

Sub-$300 Dell Vostro 2420 laptop with Ubuntu Linux
http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/geek-deals-sub-300-dell-vostro-2420-laptop-with-ubuntu-linux-2013014/

Is it Alive

(or does X mark the spot where it died…)?

Time: 1:11:36

During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? This week is straight up alive or dead…but all distro’ names end in an “X” , thus the X marks the spot comment. The items for the January 6 show:

====================================
Artistx – It is based on Ubuntu Linux and contains nearly all the available free audio, 2D and 3D graphics, and video software for the Linux computing platform. It doesn’t need to be installed, and boots directly into a running system without touching hard drives.

http://artistx.org/blog/

MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive
VERDICT: ALIVE

====================================
Danix was a Knoppix-based desktop-oriented Linux live CD designed with support for the Czech language.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead
VERDICT: DEAD

===================================
Gentoox was an adaptation of the popular Linux distribution called Gentoo. It is compiled from Stage 1 with full optimisations to run on a Microsoft Xbox games console. Software or hardware mods are required.

http://gentoox.shallax.com/index.php
MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead
VERDICT: Dead

===================================
VENENUX GNU/Linux is a South American desktop distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux and intended primarily for Spanish-speaking users. It adheres strictly to the principles of free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.
http://venenux.blogspot.com/

MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive
VERDICT: Alive

===================================
srvRXLive Is a simple and easy to install debian based secure system distributed in LAMP stack as well and LNMP (nginx), with support for 32-64 bit CPUs and small-large ram.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/srvrx/

MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead
VERDICT: Alive

===================================
Elastix is a Linux distribution that integrates the best tools available for Asterisk-based Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) into a single, easy-to-use interface.

http://www.elastix.org/

MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive
VERDICT: Alive
===================================

Tony won by 2..


Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 1:18:17

Outtro Music

Time: 1:23:23

Driving Through by Sonic Mystery

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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