Letters to the Editor
Having worked with Linux for several months now, I thought the information below might be of interest. I rarely use my notebook for working with C code, due to the swap partition slowing things down. A 500-line code fragment will take 30 seconds to become an executable on my Fosa 486DX2[hy]66 notebook with 4MB of RAM; it takes six seconds on my 386DX33 desktop with 8MB.
Following are results I obtained testing battery life: stopwatch timed, average of many runs each operating system. The machine was the notebook mentioned above, which has dual scan colour. Batteries were fully charged at start in each case. I included both continuous and periodic runs.
OpSys. Notes Duration (min.) Windows 3.1 Sparse hd use (solitaire, Majong) 81 MS[hy]DOS 6.22 B&W use only, infrequent hd use 82 OS/2 Warp Misc programs, moderate hd use 115 Linux B&W & colour C programming, heavy hd (swap) use 121
Have other notebook users observed similar results? The nearly 50% increase using OS/2 or Linux is puzzling and requires further investigation.
R. H. Armstrong, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes—and there is a perfectly good reason. Linux and OS/2 use the “halt” instruction to stop the CPU when they are idle; DOS and Windows 3.1 do not. This also has an effect on temperature; CPUs running Linux and OS/2 are much, much cooler than those running other operating systems. A few months ago, someone connected a thermocouple to his CPU and ran a bunch of tests and reported on the results on the newsgroups, his tests showed that DOS and Windows ran the CPU very hot, and Linux and OS/2 ran the CPU much cooler.
Although there have been some improvements with regard to the LLS (Linked List Syndrome), I think there is still room for improvement (beside never splitting articles at all).
Personally I find footers and headers like “continued on next/from previous page” irritating. What kind of audience is LJ aiming at? Brainless Windoze 96 users? I have enough brain capacities to turn the page without instruction. I can even skip pages that contains ads without instruction; it is my default behavior. May I suggest you only use those “continued” lines when you skip over parts of other articles?
Another disadvantage of the LLS is the need to backtrack the origin of the current article when you want to continue with the next article. When backtracking is necessary to find the next article, could you print the page number of the next article at the end of articles?
Hans de Vreught, J.P.M.deVreught@cp.tn.tudelft.nl
We have taken this suggestion and discontinued the continuation lines when an article jumps over ads. Alert readers will note that you can always tell when an article ends by looking for the “LJ” symbol.
Although we'd like to believe that all our readers read Linux Journal straight through from cover to cover, we suspect that it's not true. So we leave it up to our readers to use the table of contents to find the articles they want to read.
There is a thing that I don't understand with the LJ. Why do you split so many of the articles into pieces? In LJ16, “perl” was continued on page 51 and 52. Why not on page 44 and 45? For my feeling, this is rather confusing and I wouldn't like the books at my library sorted like this.
Otherwise I'm glad that there is the LJ.
Micha Jung, email@example.com
When laying out Linux Journal, first we put color items (ads and illustrations) on the color pages, then we fit everything else around that. We try to avoid jumps whenever possible, but sometimes, because of ad placement and so forth, articles have to jump. We try to keep code examples together and we generally don't have more than one jump per article, not counting pages with just ads. Every month it's like working out a puzzle to fit everything. Hopefully, this clears up the reason for jumps.
Many projects at work have screamed for a Linux solution. Whenever I mentioned it, I would get some interesting looks, and then the subject would change. Most projects would get done by coercing Novell to work, or worse, use a dedicated PC to do certain jobs.
Finally, I presented a Linux solution. Part of my presentation was to have a few Linux Journals with me. Suddenly my audience realized how “real” Linux was. It really helped to have a professional publication to drive the point that this is not just a bunch of people playing around on the Internet.
So, now I have a project on my hands! Thank you for your help in doing a project the right way for a change. I look forward to future issues.
Chris Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide