Two months have passed after my last post, and things here have been quieter than usual in this blog, but the world kept moving in the meanwhile so there are some things to tell, and some other that have already been told. Probably the most exciting thing for me and my work mates was the announcement of the shiny Nokia N900. I have resisted the temptation then, because a lot of things have already been said about it. We systems administrators are usually in the shadows, but even so it is a delight working as backing support for people who does big things.
There were a couple of releases this week what are a great example of why Igalia reached its eighth year, and we are still rockin’ in the free world:
- Hildon 2.2.0, the user interface toolkit used in Maemo. No words are needed to explain how awesome is this!
- Also, some of my work mates are fine-tuning MAFW after bringing it to life in order to provide multimedia coolness to Maemo, and (who knows!) maybe the desktop as well. Of course all built on top of the lovely GStreamer libraries.
- GNOME 2.28, which includes the hard work from a lot of work in form all around the world, and a revamped Epiphany web browser which uses WebKitGTK+ as the rendering engine. This means that some of my colleguaes have been killing kitties and their hard work will be deployed in every GNOME install!
- Frogr 0.1, a tool which carries out out the simple (but important) task of uploading pictures to Flickr, and it is doing a fine task for me right now.
- In the operating systems ground, Haiku R1 Alpha 1 has been released. This may sound like “some other hobbyist operating system”, but it is a lot more than that: it is a new life for the mighty BeOS R5, which took eight years to to bring from the dead. I have played a bit with the live CD: the experience is great, although somw rough edges still exist, but I would say that Haiku contains lots of superb work and I am eager to install it in some real hardware.
But more changes apart from software releases happened: in a more personal note, I am now using Fedora 11 in a daily basis at my laptop. Initially I wanted to try out Foresight, because the Conary package manager looks like an interesting piece of software, but unfortunately the installer does not have support for LUKS-encrypted volumes in the installer, and I did not want to bootstrap it manually. Interestingly enough, Fedora does have such support using the same Anaconda installer. I did not like Fedora back in version 6, but I must admit that the community did an impressive improvement (at least comparing version 6 to version 11!) and I am very happy with my current setup. I am even considering Fedora 11 for installing it on my brand new PlayStation 3: I bought one of the old “fat” models, because the new “slim” ones do not officially support installing third-party operating systems.
Finally, a quick note to finish this “I am alive” post: I am glad that we have decided to push Linux-vServer in our servers, because we are getting some interesting benefits thanks to it, being the main one the ability to easily clone a running machine and use the clone for testing purposes before applying changes in the production environment. Also, we are now able of easily provide sandboxed environments in which users have almost-full administrative privileges without having to worry about other services being affected in case something goes wrong. And we are getting those niceties with a minimal overhead (~1.5%) in terms of kernel CPU usage. As we are moving services which were previously run on physical machines into virtual machines, we are saving power and contributing to the environment while providing a better service and support to our staff