Laptops for Linux!
laptop n: a computer in graceful, self-contained form. Laptops are small, wireless, resource-minimal and portable. You can take them wherever you go and hide them when not in use—no ugly computer to occupy space. The LCD flat screen displays are clearer and cleaner than cathode ray tube monitors (with less brain-wave-zeroing effect), and the keyboards are small and quiet. Even without portability, laptops have many advantages over desktop machines.
Laptops also have their shortcomings, the most obvious of which is price. Laptops are very expensive and difficult to repair or upgrade, although it can be done. They also offer inferior performance compared to desktop machines, specifically in disk access, processor speed and hardware support. Hard disks on laptops spin slowly and are loathe to accelerate or decelerate; hence, disk operations can be very slow, especially random accesses. Take a look at the Bonnie benchmarks (see Table 2) to see just how slow. Processors are also slower and more expensive. One reason is laptops have relatively poor ventilation (making them quiet), so if you have too many megahertz/gates/volts on the chip/CPU, it will get too hot. (Notice the popularity of StrongARM processors in machines without powerful fans, for example the NetWinder and Empeg.) Also, laptop processors are physically different from standard processors because they must be small and low-profile, although smaller chips require less voltage so they don't generate as much heat.
Entirely free software
Superb console mode
Highly tuned, fast
14.1" LCD screen is clear, flicker-free
GNOME/Enlightment is a tad slow, sometimes problematic
Too much swap
Missing some software
At the time of this writing, the two Linux-specific laptop providers are LinuxLaptops and ASL Workstations. LinuxLaptops is a specialty shop run by Nathan Myers, which deals exclusively in laptops for Linux and has three models at the moment. It is highly focused on optimization and tuning, working within the interesting limitations of laptop hardware, to maximize Linux performance. ASL Workstations, on the other hand, is a successful Linux workstation builder which provides many excellent workstations and makes its AS-LT300 laptop as a logical component in a complete product line of high-powered, server-oriented machines. Penguin Computing is also developing a laptop, but it is still in beta and was not available for review. VA Linux Systems, the best-known Linux machine maker, has discontinued laptops for the time being.
Since only enormous firms have their own laptop factories, laptop providers for Linux buy standard laptops and configure them for Linux. Incidentally, the AS-LT300 and Attache are both ChemBook 7400s. Internally, they have slightly different configurations, but the most significant difference is between their respective Linux setups. Table 1 shows the more relevant features of the laptops sent to LJ, but keep in mind that you have much flexibility in configuration if you order a laptop for yourself.
Pentium II 333 MHz
Pentium II 366MHz
32K / 256K
32K / 256K
6.4GB Ultra DMA/33
6.4GB Ultra DMA/33
Debian GNU/Linux 2.1
Red Hat 6.0
Accelerated X-Server 5.0
KDE or GNOME
ATI 3D Rage Pro LT 4MB
ATI 3D Rage Pro LT 8MB
Open Sound System
2.2.11 / 715K
2.2.12 / 636K
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.
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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